Wilson, whose M-Sport organisation is planning to enter a team of Ford Fiesta RS WRCs in 2013 despite the Blue Oval’s decision to withdraw its title sponsorship, said the emergence of several rising talents means he’s not overly concerned about finding a replacement for current works Ford ace Jari-Matti Latvala, who will switch to the rival Volkswagen Motorsport squad for next year.
“We definitely didn’t want to lose Jari-Matti and if he’d seen a good longer-term plan [with us] I know for sure we’d have managed to retain him,” said Wilson. “I fully understand his decision and I wish him all the best although I hope he’s not too successful when we’re battling against him.
“But we’re in an exciting time with a lot of exciting youngsters coming through at the moment and everybody knows I’m not frightened to take a gamble. It’s something I’ve done over the years with the likes of Francois Duval, Markko Martin, Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti, who all started their careers with us.”
Of the potential candidates, current semi-works M-Sport drivers Evgeny Novikov and Ott Tanak (pictured left with Wilson) are in the frame along with Mads Ostberg, who drives an Adapta World Rally Team-run Fiesta in the WRC with assistance from M-Sport.
“I just want to be coming to rallies knowing we’ve still got a chance of a championship or the chance to win rallies, which is something we’ve managed to do every year apart from 2005 when we made a strategic decision with Ford to develop the Focus and take a different view on the driver line-up,” said Wilson, who added the he is chasing potential commercial partners to help fund next season’s campaign.