Following M-Sport’s victory in the WRC last year, Ford has announced a new agreement to supply extended technical and financial support to the Cumbrian team.
Starting in 2018, the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team will benefit from additional technical support from the global Ford Performance organisation at its headquarters in Dearborn, U.S., led by Mark Rushbrook, global director of Motorsport.
The OEM is extending the company’s investment to ensure the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team remains competitive through the 2018 WRC season and beyond, following technical and financial contributions in 2017.
The increased backing from the OEM is a key driver in M‑Sport’s retention of Sébastien Ogier – 2017 FIA WRC Drivers’ champion – for the 2018 season. Ogier and upcoming talent Elfyn Evans will lead the team, alongside their respective co-drivers Julien Ingrassia and Daniel Barritt, in the Fiesta WRC.
“Ford’s 20-year relationship with M-Sport has delivered unparalleled success at all levels of rallying, something we’re very proud of, and has also established Fiesta as the standard for rally competitors around the globe,” Rushbrook said. “Last year we supported M-Sport with the development of the all-new Fiesta that went on to campaign to an FIA championship win. For 2018, we’re excited to be able to provide even greater support.”
Ford has been a continuous partner with M-Sport since 1997. As the Ford-appointed specialist in rally-sport, M-Sport produces vehicles for rally competition in several classes, from FIA R2 to the pinnacle in WRC. Almost 400 M-Sport developed Fiestas are currently competing in rally-sport globally.
“We’ve enjoyed a fantastic relationship with Ford over the years and it’s great to see that support increase as we look to defend our FIA World Rally Championship titles in 2018,” added Malcolm Wilson OBE, M-Sport managing director.
“In Sébastien and Elfyn we have another strong line up and the added technical support will allow us to progress the development of the Ford Fiesta WRC. The competition will be closer than ever but I’m confident that, together with the support of our partners, we can produce the same high levels of performance and reliability that delivered so much success in 2017.”