- Brand new car based on latest Ford Fiesta ST
- Ford Fiesta ST road car perfectly suited base for WRX
- Ford Performance supporting STARD WRX project
- Cooperation with proven technical partners extended
- New car also immediately available to customers
After 4 successful years having developed one of the best WRX supercars freely available to customers, STARD will continue to build and run a Ford Fiesta based car for 2019. The new supercar is currently going through the final stage of in-house development and build up in the company´s headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
Michael Sakowicz, CEO STARD: “Our World Rallycross project has been started back in 2014, when we developed Ford Fiestas for the private “World RX Team Austria” project. Since then we constantly improved the Ford Fiesta MK7´s which quickly turned into one of the most successful customer car in World RX including a number of track and lap records back in 2016 WRX before the big works involvements of VW, Audi and likewise resulted in splitting the classification boards. For 2019 we took the decision to develop a completely new car, which also gave us the chance to choose a new platform. Due to the FIA technical regulation, the base road car´s specification has a significant influence on the race car development, so it is very important to make the right choice at the beginning. Based on our experience with the previous generation Fiesta, and a very careful investigation we believe that the latest Ford Fiesta ST is perfect base for a successful Rallycross Supercar.”
In addition to the new car, recently granted support by Ford Performance gives a huge boost to the STARD RX project in the world championship and national customer projects.
Sakowicz: “We know quite well what benefits it has to run an entire vehicle development project with the manufacturer´s involvement as this was the case in 90% of our projects so far. The WRX project was one of few exceptions where we have been without support from a manufacturer. We still achieved a fantastic result, finishing the 2018 season as best placed private project leaving many bigger scale projects behind us. The support from Ford Performance definitely is a game changer for us. We can apply processes in the development and race activity and also support our customers in a way which is only possible if you are cooperating with the manufacturer. Therefore we have high expectations for our new car in the WRX environment. We are very thankful and happy about the new situation and I also see it as confirmation and reward for the team´s hard work throughout the recent years.”
While the key technical partners and global technical concept of the car remain unchanged for 2019, around 90% of the components will be new developments with just a few carry-over parts from the car used last year. Some of the technical highlights are a completely new engine, and entire Bodyshell.
Sakowicz: “Over the last 3 years, in WRX we have seen quite a big number of “from scratch” tailor-made new developments for rallycross ranging up to projects with multi-ten-million euro budgets. Actually in many of the cases the results were disappointing on the stop watch, and reliability side even when done by squads with a lot of RX experience. Our current car´s concept is proven as are the technical partners we cooperate with. So our focus lies on improving every single piece of this system rather than changing it over completely. We will see how well our engineers will have fulfilled this task during 2019 WRX RD01 in Abu Dhabi in April, but at the moment the progress and results are very promising. Key developments we focused on are a completely new engine incl. turbocharger, bodyshell and rollcage, new damper technology, aerodynamic package and entire vehicle package. We tried to prioritize changes with an expected 100% gain factor instead of solutions with uncertain influence. Based on the experience we have collected over the last 4 years we are quite optimistic of having identified these correctly.”
STARD design office, Vienna
Apart from focusing on the world championship only during the development of the new car, STARD also keeps individual final customers in mind which are interested in top level technology supercars, yet still affordable and easy to handle by non-world championship level teams.
“We do see a small but very interesting market for an affordable top specification Supercar. If you want to run a properly designed and top specification Supercar for any national or regional (e.g. European) RX championship you can either buy one of very few tremendously expensive “ex-works cars”, many times with removed last specification works developed parts and a very difficult spare parts situation, build your own car which either cannot keep up with WRX machinery or becomes extremely expensive, or buy a customer specification RX car from one of very few suppliers, most of them not competing in WRX at a level. We have high expectations that we are able to offer a perfectly balanced customer RX supercar in terms of cost to performance which on top is highly customer friendly.”
Further information and details about STARD´s new Ford Fiesta RX Supercar will be released in due course.