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M-Sport World Rally Team

Team Profile

Team Summary

Info

Based:  GBR
Established: 2006
Principal: Malcolm Wilson
Drivers: Sébastien Ogier, Ott Tänak, Elfyn Evans
Tyres: Michelin

Essential information

After Ford’s withdrawal from the WRC at the end of 2012, the ongoing presence of the Blue Oval in the championship has been down to its former rally partner, British-based preparation firm M-Sport.

Established by ex-factory team driver Malcolm Wilson, M-Sport was selected to run Ford’s World Rally Championship programme in 1997, and achieved considerable success over the next 14 years, including two manufacturers’ titles in 2006 and 2007.

Apart from its own team, M-Sport also runs cars for private teams and individuals, which is why Fiesta RS world rally cars are such a common sight on entry lists.

Despite Ford’s exit, 2013 proved to be a successful one for M-Sport, with Thierry Neuville taking one of its Fiesta RS world rally cars to second place in the drivers’ championship.

In 2014, M-Sport featured a line-up that blended youth with experience. After two years at Citroen, Mikko Hirvonen made a return to the team with which he enjoyed the bulk of his success, while Welsh youngster Elfyn Evans got his first season at rallying’s top class.

Of the two, it was Evans who excelled, while Hirvonen failed to re-discover his earlier form and announced his retirement at the final round.

Evans returned for a second season in 2015, this time alongside Estonian youngster Ott Tänak, who made a comeback to the team he last drove for in 2012.

Wilson opted for a different strategy in 2016, with the return of Mads Østberg - a Fiesta RS WRC driver between 2011 and 2013 - and French newcomer Eric Camilli. There were podium finishes in Sweden and Mexico, but a generally disappointing season meant another driver shuffle was on the cards for 2017, when Wilson again recalled Tänak to the squad to pilot the all-new Fiesta World Rally Car.

Who should partner Tänak was being finalised when Volkswagen ended its WRC programme - unexpectedly releasing four-time world champion Sébastien Ogier onto the driver market. The timing couldn´t have been better for M-Sport, who successfully wooed the Frenchman, completing its most exciting and capable line-up for years.

After Ford’s withdrawal from the WRC at the end of 2012, the ongoing presence of the Blue Oval in the championship has been down to its former rally partner, British-based preparation firm M-Sport.

Established by ex-factory team driver Malcolm Wilson, M-Sport was selected to run Ford’s World Rally Championship programme in 1997, and achieved considerable success over the next 14 years, including two manufacturers’ titles in 2006 and 2007.

Apart from its own team, M-Sport also runs cars for private teams and individuals, which is why Fiesta RS world rally cars are such a common sight on entry lists.

Despite Ford’s exit, 2013 proved to be a successful one for M-Sport, with Thierry Neuville taking one of its Fiesta RS world rally cars to second place in the drivers’ championship.

In 2014, M-Sport featured a line-up that blended youth with experience. After two years at Citroen, Mikko Hirvonen made a return to the team with which he enjoyed the bulk of his success, while Welsh youngster Elfyn Evans got his first season at rallying’s top class.

Of the two, it was Evans who excelled, while Hirvonen failed to re-discover his earlier form and announced his retirement at the final round.

Evans returned for a second season in 2015, this time alongside Estonian youngster Ott Tänak, who made a comeback to the team he last drove for in 2012.

Wilson opted for a different strategy in 2016, with the return of Mads Østberg - a Fiesta RS WRC driver between 2011 and 2013 - and French newcomer Eric Camilli. There were podium finishes in Sweden and Mexico, but a generally disappointing season meant another driver shuffle was on the cards for 2017, when Wilson again recalled Tänak to the squad to pilot the all-new Fiesta World Rally Car.

Who should partner Tänak was being finalised when Volkswagen ended its WRC programme - unexpectedly releasing four-time world champion Sébastien Ogier onto the driver market. The timing couldn´t have been better for M-Sport, who successfully wooed the Frenchman, completing its most exciting and capable line-up for years.

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