Justin Bell to Help Host Consumers at Global Test Drive of Next-Generation Ford Focus
* Road racing star Justin Bell will help host Ford Focus Global Test Drive event, Feb. 18-20, 2011, in Spain, coaching consumer test drivers in the 2012 Ford Focus
* The National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA) near Madrid will be the location for this first-ever event
* Participants in Focus Global Test Drive – a unique opportunity accessible on Facebook for social media mavens – will start more than a car by raising funds for their preferred charity
Dearborn, Mich., – Ford confirmed today that consumers attending the Focus Global Test Drive in February in Madrid will be hosted and coached by road racing veteran Justin Bell. With a career stretching more than 20 years, Bell will bring a wealth of experiences and skills to the Global Test Drive program.
Bell teamed with his father – veteran driver Derek Bell – in the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1992 to 1996 and has participated in the Trans-Am series and in the American Le Mans Series. He was FIA GT champion in the GT2 class in 1997, a class winner in the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans and 2001 Trans-Am rookie of the year.
Since 2008, Bell has been an on-air personality on Speed Channel and served as celebrity driving instructor on the “Jay Leno Show” with Ford Focus Electric prototype vehicle demonstrations.
Bell will help host Focus Global Test Drive participants at the National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA) near Madrid. An aeronautical research facility, INTA and its varied surfaces make an ideal location for dynamic driving events. Ford plans to announce additional celebrity hosts for this inaugural event.
“Running an instructional program for race drivers for several years represents one of my most rewarding experiences,” said Bell. “Our test driver guests will be getting a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience behind the wheel of the all-new Focus, and I look forward to helping each of them have some fun and find their groove as we put the new Focus through its paces.”
At the three-day event, Feb. 18-20, 2011, consumers and bloggers will be able to experience the Ford Focus in a unique new manner. Each challenge and course will highlight the driving dynamics and technologies in the vehicle. And throughout the entire event, local charities will benefit.
To participate in the Focus Global Test Drive, friends and fans from around the world are invited to submit simple video applications explaining why they should be included in this unique behind-the-scenes event. The application process invites prospective test drivers to “start more than a car” by generating the market equivalent of $10,000 for a specific charity of their choice from the categories of hunger, education and environment/sustainability.
Details of the Focus Global Test Drive application are now available on the “Global Drive” tab at http://facebook.com/fordfocus. Participants for the Global Test Drive event will be selected based on a range of criteria including their individual creative content, social networking vibrancy and volume of votes they receive.
With the Focus Global Test Drive, there is something for everyone. Ford engineers will get rapid feedback from interested customers and prospects; drivers get a first look at the new car before it goes on sale; friends get to come along for the ride of a lifetime; and deserving charities will benefit in a big way.
All-new Ford Focus
The all-new Ford Focus is the result of a global product development program bringing together Ford’s best engineers and technologies from around the world. Focus will be nearly identical in all 122 world markets in which it will eventually be sold, with 80 percent parts commonality.
Rollout of the all-new Focus will begin in early 2011.
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 163,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, production of which has been announced by the company to be ending in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
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