1: Bruno Thiry
From 1994 until the end of the 1996 season, Thiry and Ford were inseparable with the Belgian impressing on a number of occasions, most notably in Corsica in 1995 when wheel bearing failure forced him to retire on the final day while he was heading for victory. He returned to Ford in 1998, by which time M-Sport had taken over the running of the Blue Oval factory team, and scored a season-best third in Great Britain.
2: Francois Duval
Ford handed the young Duval his big break in the world championship but he walked away on a long-term deal to sign for Citroen for 2005. Despite claiming his maiden victory in Australia, there were more downs than ups and Duval was left without a drive. M-Sport handed him a career lifeline for 2008 and he was twice nominated as a Ford victory driver that season. Frustratingly, however, Duval never fulfilled his potential, despite M-Sport head Malcolm Wilson’s unwavering support.
3: Christian Loriaux
Loriaux is one of the most successful Belgians to be associated with Ford although he prefers to do his stuff behind the drawing board rather than the steering wheel. As M-Sport’s technical director, Loriaux is the man responsible for a number of the firm’s recent creations, from several Focus variants to the current Fiesta RS WRC.
4: Gregoire De Mevius
De Mevius relied on Ford technology in the world championship in mid-1990s when he made several appearances in a privateer Escort. His son, Ghislain, began his career driving Ford Fiestas.
5: Stephane Prevot
Like Loriaux, Prevot has never rallied a Ford in the world championship but he has navigated for several Blue Oval pilots through the years, including Francois Duval and Bruno Thiry. He contested more than 60 events in Ford-powered cars, including this year’s Rally Guanajuato Mexico alongside Australian Chris Atkinson.