The first version of the car was built in 1999 to replace the Escort WRC. It debuted in the Monte Carlo Rally and was immediately on the pace, setting many fastest stage times, but the use of an illegal water pump meant that the two cars were excluded from the event.  The wait for a win did not take long though, as this came just two events later on the Safari Rally, finishing over 15 minutes ahead of the second placed Toyota of Didier Auriol.

The Focus was powered by a transversally mounted engine, which surprisingly had the gearbox mounted longitudinally.  This arrangement has pros and cons, the biggest difficulty to overcome was how to turn the rotation from the engine through 90 degrees without detriment to reliability.  This responsibility fell on renowned gearbox manufacturer Xtrac who designed a system using a complex series of gears and shafts to achieve the feat.  The benefits of having this layout though was the near perfect weight distribution of 52/48 front to rear.with the front of the car accounting for 52% and the rear for 48%.  In addition with having the gearbox mounted this way it could be changed quickly and easily during a service, without having to remove the left front strut as you would in a road car.

This Car

This is a genuine works Ford Focus WRC car that has seen action in a number of WRC events

Year  Event                                                    Driver

2001  Acropolis Rally, New Zealand Rally, Network Q Rally GB   Carlos Sainz

2002  Rally Sweden, Rally Cyprus, Acropolis Rally              Markko Martin

2002  Monte Carlo                                              Antony Warmbold

2003  Full WRC Season                                          Antony Warmbold

2004  4 WRC Events                                             Antony Warmbold

2007  Rally Ireland                                            George Tracey


Engine : four-cylinder, 2ltr, in-line, transversally mounted in the front of the car, twin overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, 300+ bhp

Induction  : Fuel Injected, Turbocharged