The 2015 Rally America New England Forest Rally was a successful event for both Ken Block and his Hoonigan Racing Division, as well as for Block’s motorsports partner, M-Sport. In addition to Ken Block and his Ford Fiesta HFHV racing at NEFR, M-Sport (the entity in the UK that produces the Ford Fiesta RS WRC, Block’s RX43 rallycross car, that supplied the chassis for Block’s HFHV, etc.) brought out two of their newest stage rally racecars to race the event as well: The Ford Fiesta R5 2LTR and the Ford Fiesta R2 1LTR.
The R5 2LTR is an all-new take on the already successful R5 program that M-Sport runs. The idea behind the car is to take an R5 (which itself is an all wheel-drive, 1.6 liter turbocharged rally car) and stuff it with a turbocharged 2.0 liter motor that allows it to fit within the regulations of most national championship open car classifications (such as Rally America, or the New Zealand national championship). The R2 1LTR builds upon the previous R2, but uses the turbocharged 1 liter, 3-cylinder motor from the base Ford Fiesta with a significant bump in power.
Both cars had hugely successful outings for their first time on US soil, with the R5 (piloted by Ramana Lagemann) racking up numerous top-five stage finishes and proving itself as a highly competitive option for drivers. Had the R5 not had to re-enter on Day 2 under Super Rally rules due to breaking a suspension component during the Day 1 stages, it would have easily challenged for a podium spot. The R2 (piloted by Brendan Reeves) had an even better showing, with a 1st overall finish in the 2wd category and a 6th overall finish for the entire event.
Both cars demonstrate great promise for the future of stage rally and offer a turnkey solution for racers that are looking for a competent and competitive setup. HRD’s Ken Block himself is also a huge fan of the all-new R5 2LTR car, having back-to-backed it prior to NEFR against his Ford Fiesta HFHV. To see how that turned out, check the video below.