Wilson: 'It's emotional'
M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson says he was overwhelmed by emotion when his team wrapped up three FIA world titles as well as victory at last weekend's Dayinsure Wales Rally GB.
It was a dream result for Wilson's privateer squad, which took on and beat three of the world’s automotive giants to secure its first manufacturers’ title since 2007.
Sixth place for Ott Tänak in an M-Sport-developed Ford Fiesta was enough to seal the manufacturers' crown, while third for Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia in the sister car guaranteed their fifth drivers' and co-drivers' titles.
Elfyn Evans' maiden victory on his and M-Sport's home round gave Wilson extra reason to celebrate.
"It has been very emotional and there were a few tears during the last stage," Wilson acknowledged. "Firstly when Ott [Tänak] crossed the line to take the manufacturers' championship, then when Sébastien took the drivers’, and then again when Elfyn crossed the line to the win on our home event. It really was the Triple Crown, and a very emotional day for all of us."
Wilson paid tribute to his Cockermouth-based team, which operated with a smaller budget than its manufacturer-backed rivals but delivered the most successful car built to the new technical regulations.
"The guys did a great job. When we started this year, with these new cars, I really felt reliability would be key and, touch wood, that’s gone well for us," he said. "We have been on the podium on every rally and we’re the only manufacturer to have all three drivers win an event. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved in beautiful Cumbria."
There is no confirmation yet on who will drive for M-Sport and defend its titles in 2018, but Wilson hasn't ruled out a second season with Ogier and Ingrassia.
"It’s a work in progress, but there’s no question, if there’s any way to keep Sébastien and Julien in the car, there’s nothing I would like more," he said.
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