Briton Wilson took part on Rallye Monte-Carlo in January but was forced to withdraw from Rally Sweden the following month when he broke his ankle in a fall while training for the snow event. Although he subsequently regained full fitness, he hasn’t competed since due to funding difficulties.
However, he will be back in action in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC run by his family’s M-Sport organisation and supported by several companies based in his home region of north-west England, including Invest in Cumbria, Britain’s Energy Coast Cumbria and In-Cumbria. Long-term navigator Scott Martin will co-drive.
“It will be fantastic to get back to the WRC,” said Wilson, 25. “I have been waiting for this for a long time and to have my return on my home event is something very special.”
Wilson, whose best finish in the WRC is fourth, a result he has achieved on two occasions, has to date scored 192 drivers’ championship points in 88 starts. He has also claimed three stage victories since joining the WRC full time in 2006.
“Of course we will have a lot of work to do in the lead-up to the event,” said Wilson. “I’ve not competed on any gravel rallies this year and we’ll need to work hard to be on the pace from the off. But I am really looking forward to getting back and hopefully we can achieve the same as last year and bring home a good result for the British fans.”
Wilson also recognised the support he has received from his native Cumbria, adding: “I am very proud of my Cumbrian roots and to have pretty much everything on this project from Cumbria is fantastic. Obviously both Scott and myself are Cumbrians born and bred, the car has been built here at M-Sport in Cumbria and to have the support of so many local organisations is very encouraging.”
Wilson’s Fiesta will incorporate a livery that “truly identifies his Cumbrian roots and highlights the county’s ever-growing commercial prowess”, according to Wilson’s M-Sport team, which also confirmed discussions are ongoing with a number of other Cumbria-based firms over possible backing.