The two-week gap between the WRC rounds in France and Italy has presented squads with a tough logistical challenge to ready their cars for the penultimate event of the season on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia from 18-21 October.
Indeed, work that would normally take 10 days has had to be crammed into a four-day period as Hoogeveen explains: “The work really started at the end of the rally in France. The engineers and number one technicians on each car went through what was required for each individual rebuild such as any damage sustained from the rally, any small issues that need addressing, changes to the livery etc.
“Once the cars return to M-Sport they are cleaned and stripped depending on what work needs to be carried out. All the components that are removed from the car - suspension, transmissions, hydraulics etc. - are then taken to the relevant departments to be rebuilt whilst the workshop technicians prepare the chassis.
“This week has also required a switch from Tarmac to gravel specification; many parts have had to be changed. Transmissions, dampers, suspension, all these components need to be quickly converted to gravel specification by the various departments.
“Once the rebuilt units are received, they are fitted to the car and the engineers confirm the set-up - depending on each driver’s preference - before the geometry of each car is set.
“Normally this process takes eight to 10 days, so the boys have been working around the clock to get the cars completed in time. Our technicians are amongst some of the best in the world and their hard work this week has seen the cars ready to rally in just four days.”
M-Sport will run a two-car team of Ford Fiesta RS WRCs in Sardinia this week with Evgeny Novikov and Ott Tanak representing the British outfit.
"The boys have been working around the clock to get the cars completed in time"