M-Sport Ford World Rally Team
|Drivers:||Elfyn Evans, Sébastien Ogier, Teemu Suninen, Bryan Bouffier|
Following Ford’s withdrawal from the WRC at the end of 2012, the presence of the Blue Oval in the championship has been down to its former rally partner, British-based preparation firm M-Sport.
For 2018 the Ford name is back on the FIA entry list and the manufacturer will play a more active role in the WRC.
Established by ex-factory team driver Malcolm Wilson, M-Sport was selected to run Ford’s World Rally Championship programme in 1997, and achieved considerable success over the next 16 years, including manufacturers’ titles in 2006 and 2007.
Apart from its own team, M-Sport also runs cars for private teams and individuals, which is why Fiesta RS world rally cars are such a common sight on entry lists.
Despite Ford’s exit, 2013 proved to be a successful one for M-Sport, with Thierry Neuville taking a Fiesta RS to second in the drivers’ championship.
Mikko Hirvonen, Elfyn Evans, Ott Tänak, Mads Østberg and Eric Camilli all toiled without success during the next three seasons, but in 2017 M-Sport proved the team to beat as Tänak and Evans were joined by four-time world champion Sébastien Ogier.
At the wheel of the impressive new Fiesta WRC, Ogier swept to a fifth title. Tänak took two wins and Evans his maiden victory, enabling M-Sport to lift the manufacturers’ trophy as well.
Ogier defends his title with M-Sport in 2018 and he will be partnered by Evans, following Tänak’s switch to Toyota.