Wed 22 Feb 2023

Pushing forward: How Tänak is driving M-Sport Ford to new heights

M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson has talked of the positivity Ott Tänak’s Rally Sweden win has brought to the British team as it looks ahead to next month’s Guanajuato Rally México (16 - 19 March).

Tänak’s Umeå success came just a month after his maiden appearance aboard an M-Sport-built Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid – and ahead of when Wilson realistically thought it possible.

Expected or not, the knock-on effect has been felt throughout M-Sport’s Dovenby Hall factory.

“When we first signed Ott, we started thinking about wins,” said Wilson. “That’s natural when you bring a driver of his calibre and, yes, I think we did originally think about a win in Sweden.

"But Ott identified some areas of the car he wanted to work on from Monte-Carlo and after that, we were maybe thinking more to a podium – we’re not going to get the car completely sorted for him overnight.

“What he did in Sweden, what him and Martin [Järveoja, co-driver] did in Sweden was fantastic and we’re all feeling the boost and the benefit from that.

“From the moment we announced that Ott was coming back to us, you could see a spark of electricity going through the place. It was the same when we told people we’d signed Séb Ogier or when we talked about Sébastien Loeb driving for us.

"These kind of drivers bring a level of expectation and when they deliver from their side, like Ott did in Sweden, you can feel the pride within the team. We felt that in Sweden and we felt that when the team got back to Dovenby.

“There’s no doubt, that feeling brings more confidence looking to México and the rest of the season.”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 8:30:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 9:30:00 AM