M-Sport World Rally Team
|Drivers:||Elfyn Evans, Ott Tanak|
After Ford’s withdrawal from the WRC at the end of 2012, the ongoing presence of the Blue Oval in the championship has been down to its former rally partner, British-based preparation firm M-Sport.
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 14 years, including two 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 one of its Fiesta RS world rally cars to second place in the drivers’ championship.
In 2014, M-Sport featured a line-up that blended youth with experience. After two years at Citroen, Mikko Hirvonen made a return to the team with which he enjoyed the bulk of his success, while Welsh youngster Elfyn Evans got his first season at rallying’s top class.
Of the two, it was Evans who excelled, while Hirvonen failed to re-discover his earlier form and announced his retirement at the final round.
Evans returns for a second full season in 2015, this time alongside Estonian youngster Ott Tänak, who makes a comeback to the team he last drove for in 2012.