It has certainly been a dream debut for the Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car, with the vehicle making for a 1-2-3 finish at the Rally Sweden last Sunday.

Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team’s Mikko Hirvonen – and Jarmo Lehtinen – won the opening round of the FIA World Rally Championship by just 6.5 secs from Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson. The Castrol Edge-backed Ford Abu Dhabi team rounded off the podium spots with Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila third.

It was Ford’s first podium clean sweep since Rally Sweden in 2008, when Latvala claimed his maiden WRC win and was followed home by Hirvonen and Gigi Galli. Hirvonen’s victory, his 13th, makes him Ford’s most successful WRC driver, edging him ahead of former team-mate Marcus Grönholm.

Khalid Al Qassimi and Michael Orr, driving the team’s Fiesta RS WRC for the satellite Team Abu Dhabi squad, finished 10th. Seven-time world champion Sebastian Loeb finished in sixth place.