Ford considers WTCC

Ford is considering a World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) programme if attempts to keep the marque in the World Rally Championship fail. Ford remains confident that it will secure some form of Focus WRC campaign for next year, and sources suggest that Ford's rally partner M-Sport has come up with the sponsorship to ensure a full 16-race programme

Ford considers WTCC

If there is an insufficient budget next year, though, Ford Team RS director Jost Capito admitted to Autosport magazine that a touring car project would be a viable alternative with the all-new WTCC series, which will replace the European Touring Car Championship in 2005, the preferred choice.

"Ford wants to stay in rallying but in the end it is a business decision," he told this week's magazine. "On the touring car side, Ford is already there - in Germany we've been in touring cars for many years. We have teams with the Focus who are fighting with BMW head-to-head and they are interested in continuing. I think that will happen anyway.

"The European Touring Car Championship is growing and as a manufacturer you can't ignore that. There's a good opportunity for customer motorsport there. It would have to be factory-supported but it's an obvious alternative [to WRC]. If we can't do WRC then we say, 'Okay, what are the alternatives?'. This would be one of them because we have the racing car anyhow."

Ford of Europe's chief executive officer Lewis Booth has told Autosport that a final decision on the future of the manufacturer's WRC programme will be taken within the next two to three weeks.

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