The old saying that "racing improves the breed" apparently resonates quite well at Ford, which is prepared to propagate its new Focus as the brand's latest touring car.
Ford will ease the new Focus into global competition by first cooperating with private race teams to develop the touring car platform. These privateers, with Ford's assistance, will work towards polishing a common set of Focus technical specifications to initially fit the FIA Super 2000 regulations. Here, 2.0-liter engines are the norm and the mill of choice is the 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-four to be shared with the upcoming Focus ST. We can only expect a works team to come after the privateers have given the cars a thorough shakedown.
If all goes according to plan, the Focus touring car should make its debut appearance for the 2011 British Touring Car Championship. Ford expects the Focus to compete in a range of touring car series all over the world. Other regional and national series include the World Touring Car Championship, the China Touring Car Championship, and the returning Japanese Touring Car Championship. Endurance racing, such as the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, is also on Ford's agenda.
"Ford's commitment to using motorsports to influence high-performance vehicles will be highly evident, as the development of the Focus touring car will benefit the upcoming Focus ST production car," said Jost Capito, director of Ford's Global Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Business Development division. "It's very similar to how the Mustang team was able to apply learnings from the Ford Racing Boss 302R to the 2012 Mustang Boss 302."
Although it's merely speculation at this point, some touring car series run the S1600 class as well, which would fit the profile of Ford's 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. Widening the Focus' application could generate even more buzz for the new compact car.