• Jul 17, 2009

Ford Fiesta Rally car at Pikes Peak - Click above to watch video

The 87th annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is set for this weekend, and race teams from around the country have traveled to Colorado Springs for the legendary race to the clouds. One of those teams is from Ford Racing, which has unveiled its duo of contenders for this year's event, a pair of Fiesta Rally Cars driven by two-time WRC champion Marcus Grönholm and four-time Swedish rally champ Andreas Eriksson. While the two drivers have a wealth of experience racing on dirt and gravel, it will be their inaugural trip up the famous mountain.

Both drivers and cars were unveiled to at Phil Long Ford in Colorado Springs yesterday, and have already completed a couple practice sessions with the 800 horsepower rally cars. You can check out dozens of photos from those sessions in the high-res gallery below, and watch the entertaining unveiling of the cars in the video after the jump.



[Source: Ford]



PRESS RELEASE:

Grönholm AND ERIKSSON PILOT OLSBERGS MSE FORD FIESTA THROUGH OPENING PIKES PEAK PRACTICE

The driving duo of Marcus Grönholm and Andreas Eriksson have a wealth of rally experience and numerous championships between them, but their first encounter with Pikes Peak in the 2009 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta left them feeling like the rookies on legendary mountain course.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 15, 2009) – The driving duo of Marcus Grönholm and Andreas Eriksson have a wealth of rally experience and numerous championships between them, but their first encounter with Pikes Peak in the 2009 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta left them feeling like the rookies on legendary mountain course. An up and down morning practice session left the duo hungry for a second shot at the 12.4-mile course, but realistic that success at Pikes Peak is something that is not easily obtained.

"We had a few problems this morning, but the car is really nice to drive," said two-time WRC champion Marcus Grönholm. "The handling is perfect, but because of the altitude we were struggling through the hairpins and there wasn't so much power, but when it [power] was coming it was ok. We need to work with our engineer on mapping and things like that. We need a little bit of experience for this race to be competitive and we know that it will be difficult on Sunday."

"It was exciting morning for us," said Andreas Eriksson, four time Swedish Rally champion. "We have been on the mountain a couple of days since we arrived and it is a really beautiful view up there, but in the race car you only see the corners. I guess the tourist session is over. This is a hard race because of the altitude and that caused us problems this morning, but we will solve them. That's why we come with two cars because you have a double chance to get it right. I had a little problem with the gearbox and some other small stuff, but Marcus' car is getting better and better so we will work on it all day and all night in order to get it better for tomorrow. I am really looking forward to running the gravel part in the high altitude tomorrow. I have been warned that it is even worse than this day so Friday night could be good. Everything we are trying to do we are trying to be the best that we can and I think we will be competitive on Sunday. It is a long way and it is a hard mountain to climb."

The 800 horsepower Fiestas will return to the track on Thursday morning at 5:30 a.m. local time for the second of three practice sessions. On Thursday morning the duo will tackle the top third of the course.

The 87th annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is Sunday starting at 9:00 a.m. local time. Dubbed 'The Race to the Clouds', the Pikes Peak Hill Climb is the second oldest race in North America.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      How much does this car really have in common with the production Fiesta?
        • 5 Years Ago
        They have as much in common as a NASCAR Ford Fusion does to a showroom Fusion. Really, who cares? It's the noise and speed that counts.....ok?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Suddenly, from inside my gut, I'm getting the strange feeling that Ford is becoming...very cool.

      I could be wrong but it seems change may be upon this brand.

      • 5 Years Ago
      what engine are they using?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, this thing reminds me a lot of Group B rally cars, it is insanely powerful!
      • 5 Years Ago
      If I had money to splurge, a 800HP RWD (even AWD would be nuts) Fiesta would be near the top of the list.
      • 5 Years Ago
      heh, what i would do if i was given an 800hp AWD Fiesta for a day.
        • 5 Years Ago
        crash and burn? i don't think you'd last a day.
        • 5 Years Ago
        but what a great way to go!
      • 5 Years Ago
      This thing is SWEEETT!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Damn I wish I had stopped by there on Tuesday. That video was pretty sweet, would have been nice in person.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Awesome!

      If just 25% of those mods were made available to the common folk's Fiesta it would seriously rock!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Man this thing is SWEEETT!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why is this not showing up on your main page anywhere other than in the "Featured Galleries" sidebar? These cars are badass!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I want to know that too now that I've thumbed through them! Some great shots!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Heh, this should carry a NSFW its pur pr0n.
      Somehow I don't think the production car has the engine mounted in that direction though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Somehow" you say?

        Hmm! You wouldn't happen to be a super hero named "Captain Obvious" would you?
    • Load More Comments