Long-standing head of rally engineering, Chris Williams, is to become M-Sport’s new technical director ahead of the 2022 WRC season.
Williams is approaching 25 years of service at M-Sport, and having been responsible for many of the winning rally projects to come out of Dovenby Hall, the promotion to technical director will see him oversee all current and future engineering projects within the business.
Williams’ direct involvement in M-Sport projects extends back to 2005 and the Fiesta ST Gp.N, his first solo design project, which saw him transform the standard ST150 road car into a globally successful entry level rally car, still often seen in competition today. The philosophy of this customer focused car would be replicated across many of his future projects.
Next was the Fiesta R2 1600, which replaced the ST in 2009. The R2 would become the first car in the newly formed category to be released, again seeing global success with over 300 kits sold and multiple championship wins to its name.
In 2013 Williams headed development of the most successful M-Sport customer car to date, the Fiesta R5 Mk1. Again, the first car in this class to be released, it would become a market leader and a model that now boasts a total of 956 victories since its launch, and is still seen as a benchmark product within its category.
2015 saw Williams take on engineering the Fiesta WRC, where he would implement the midlife cycle upgrades for the WRC at that time. then in 2017 e he was trusted to design and engineer the Fiesta WRC for the new set of technical regulations. With only an 18 month timescale, he would use all of his experience to create a car that not only won its maiden event in Monte-Carlo, but went on to win consecutive Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ titles and a Manufacturers’ title for the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team.
Commenting on his new role, Williams remarked. “I’d like to extend a big thank you to Malcolm for his continued faith in me and for the many opportunities to lead projects over the years, from my first car project, the Fiesta ST Gp.N, all the way to the present day and the Puma Hybrid Rally1.
“It’s a privilege to be given the opportunity to lead the technical team as a whole, particularly at a time that will see such significant change in the sport we love.
“We have a small team of innovative, committed and determined engineers and designers and I’m honoured to help, guide and support them to produce cars that compete and win at the highest levels of motorsport.”
Malcolm Wilson, founder and managing director of M-Sport added. “Chris has been responsible for many successful projects at M-Sport and without his commitment and determination we wouldn’t be in the position we are today. With his proven track record of competition cars it makes sense that he moves to the role of technical director and overseeing all engineering aspects of the business.”