APRIL 12, 2002
Ford expanding racing!
THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY is rumored to be considering pulling back on its motor racing activities as the company faces massive restructuring and job cuts - but this does not seem to be the case at all. Not only is Jaguar Racing strengthening its technical team and trying to improve after a disappointing start to the year but Aston Martin is looking at a Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar program and Volvo - another Premier Automotive Group subsidiary - has just unveiled its new touring car challenger which will be raced in the new European Touring Car Championship. The Volvo S60 has been developed by Prodrive and will be raced by 1998 British Touring Car Champion Rickard Rydell, who won the title with a TWR-built Volvo S40, and rising star James Hanson.
Volvo has been out of major competition since the firm was bought by Ford in February 1999 but hopes that the new sporting program will revive the Swedish company's reputation as a sporty marque. The company's sporting activities in the 1980s and 1990s helped the from shrug off its stodgy image.
While the program will not involve a huge amount of investment (compared to Formula 1) it is still an indication that the company is keen to use the sport to promote sales.
And that is good news for everyone.
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