Thursday | 05 Nov 2015

Milly bids farewell to WRC

One of the WRC’s longest-serving and most popular faces bids farewell to the sport at Wales Rally GB next week (12 - 15 November) when John Millington retires after 23 years and 317 rallies.

M-Sport logistics manager Millington began his WRC career in Portugal in 1992. Since then the Briton has missed just one round, working with a string of world champion drivers including Colin McRae, Juha Kankkunen, Carlos Sainz, Marcus Grönholm and Ari Vatanen.

“Winning the 2006 manufacturers’ title in New Zealand (pictured below) was the ultimate high spot,” recalls Millington. “The feeling was indescribable and the only small downside was we were so far from home - but it was the shortest return from there because we were on such a high.

“We set up a web cam in our service park office so when the news came that we’d won, the people back at M-Sport relived it with us. It was 11pm but there were 60 people there celebrating, drinking beer and eating pizzas!”

Millington was a mechanic in Leeds before moving to semi-works rally team RED in 1986. He stepped into a co-ordination role there on a temporary basis initially, before moving to Ford’s factory operation at Boreham. He switched to M-Sport when the company took over the works programme in 1997.

He heads a team of four at the squad’s Dovenby Hall base with responsibility for all on-event logistics, from organising flights for up to 80 staff to booking portable toilets in the service park!

Milly, as he is known throughout the sport, is also an experienced co-driver and won Britain’s Roger Albert Clark Rally with Wilson in 2008 and Gwyndaf Evans three years later.

“I’ll miss all the friends I’ve made. I’m bewildered with the amount of interest in my retirement. I’m just another person who works in the sport and it’s my time to retire. Events come and go, but there’s a lot of friendship in the service park,” he said.

• WRC Live’s Becs Williams caught up with Millington ahead of his final event to talk about his WRC career. Look out for her interview on here on Friday.

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