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Kyle Sarasin, 2007 Rookie of the Year, recently tested the new Ford Fiesta R2 in Northern England. Sarasin, the first American driver to test the new Ford, as one of a select group invited by M-Sport, the company chosen by Ford Motor Company to mastermind their assault on the FIA World Rally Championship. With the opportunity to put the newest rally offering through its paces, Sarasin was able to preview and experience the spectacular Ford Fiesta R2 as well as offer feedback on the handling and balance of the front wheel drive high performance derivative of the first of Ford’s new global family of small cars, designed to meet the expectations of Ford drivers internationally.

The new R2 shares the platform and appearance of the new Fiesta set to hit the streets of U.S. pavement in early 2010. The R2, created by M-sport and based on the Ford Fiesta Sport model, is the first global rally car. The R2 will join the previous generation Fiesta ST Gp.N Rally Car, which was campaigned in select events in the World Rally Championship as part of the Fiesta SportTrophy International. In 2010, the Fiesta ST will have its own series, the Fiesta SportChallenge, and the Fiesta R2 and Fiesta ST will be eligible for the new Fiesta SportTrophy series.

During the extended test session, Sarasin was able to challenge a course consisting of multiple surfaces; tarmac, gravel and a mixture of broken tarmac and gravel. The layout included high-speed sections as well as multiple-gradient bi-directional turns and highly-technical tight sections. Of the performance of the M-Sport Fiesta R2, Sarasin had nothing but praise. “The R2 is an incredible rally package,” commented Sarasin, “with surprisingly quick acceleration and phenomenally impressive braking capabilities. The handling characteristics are near-perfectly balanced, making the car very drivable at the limits.” Sarasin continues his goal to secure an opportunity to campaign the impressive Ford Fiesta R2 in events in Europe as well as the United States.

Finally, Sarasin was able to make a direct comparison between the rally R2 and the street Ford Fiesta. “I was amazed by the similarities of the two Fiestas.” said Sarasin, “The race-bred performance of the rally car carries over in all the right ways in the street Fiesta. Ford has a real winner in the new Fiesta and I can’t wait to see it on our shores.”

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