M-Sport target podium record
Three weeks after securing a clean sweep of WRC titles, M-Sport has promised to keep fighting at Kennards Hire Rally Australia [17 - 19 Nov] when it targets the record for consecutive podium finishes.
Having won the triple crown of drivers', co-drivers' and manufacturers' titles on home soil at last month’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, the team travel to the final round with the aim of getting at least one of its drivers on the podium.
Doing so will add to the top-three finishes it has scored on every round so far this year, making it the only manufacturer to complete this feat three times – the previous clean-sweeps coming in 2009 and 2012.
“The season is not over yet. We might have secured all three championships, but we want to end what has been an immensely successful year on another high and secure another podium to complete our clean sweep," team boss Malcolm Wilson explained.
“We’ve had all three drivers secure at least one victory this year, and a podium on every event. The best way to end the season would be to complete the set with another top-three on the Coffs Coast. The competition will be extremely strong, and everyone will want to end the year with a positive result. But we won’t let standards slip, and aim to deliver another strong result.”
Champion Sébastien Ogier heads M-Sport's challenge in Australia, and is one of the favourites to set the pace after three previous victories at the event. The Frenchman admitted securing his fifth title early had lifted some of the pressure from his shoulders.
“I say some of the pressure as we still want to secure a good result. So far, the team has had a podium on every event and we want to see that continue next week," he said. "If it’s dry, our road position won’t make it easy, but we will try our best as always. If we could end the season with another strong result, it really would be the perfect ending to an incredible year.”
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