M-Sport

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M-Sport
Type Privately held company
Industry Motorsport
Automotive engineering
Founded 1979
Headquarters Cockermouth, England
Key people Malcolm Wilson (founder)
Website m-sport.co.uk

M-Sport is an auto racing team based in Cockermouth, Cumbria, England, United Kingdom. Formed in 1979 by the former WRC driver Malcolm Wilson, and originally known as Malcolm Wilson Motorsport, the team has had varying success running cars in several rally championships. Since 1996, M-Sport has prepared and run the official Ford World Rally Team cars in the World Rally Championship.

History[edit]

Formed in 1979 under the name Malcolm Wilson Motorsport, the company was originally next door to Wilsons' house near Cockermouth. Following the career of Malcolm Wilson as a driver, the company grew steadily through the 1980s, with rapid expansion in the early 1990s reflecting the success that the company was having throughout the world with the Ford Escort RS Cosworth.

In 1994, the team won national titles in Italy, Portugal, the Middle East, and indeed the British Rally Championship with Malcolm Wilson himself behind the wheel of the Escort.

World Rally Championship[edit]

At the end of 1996, Ford Motorsport selected the company to spearhead the Ford team's entry for the 1997 World Rally Championship season with the new derivative of the Ford Escort WRC. The start of the 1997 WRC season also saw the name change to M-Sport. Victories in Greece and Indonesia saw faith in the small team rewarded, and they went on to finish runner-up in the manufacturers' championship.

By the middle of 1998, Ford chose M-Sport to design and build the new Ford Focus WRC. The new car appeared in 1999 with a new driver — Colin McRae — and immediately sprang to the attention of the world press by recording fastest stage times on its first event, the Monte Carlo Rally. However, the two cars entered were excluded from the event due to the use of an illegal modified water pump. By the third event — the notoriously gruelling Safari Rally in Kenya — the team had scored itsr first WRC victory. A month later, an on-form Colin McRae made it two in a row at the Rally of Portugal.

With a move to new premises at Dovenby Hall, M-Sport expanded rapidly, becoming a world leader in motorsport and employing over 170 people. Their hard work led to the culmination of their successes in 2006, when the Wilson-led Ford team took the manufacturers' World Rally championship title;[1] it was the first time Ford had achieved this feat in 25 years of competing.

For the 2008 season, the company employed the driving talents of Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala in their challenge for the World Rally Championship.

The 2009 season saw Mikko Hirvonen and Citroen's Sébastien Loeb fight a closely fought battle throughout the year which ended with Loeb the victor by just one point.

Privateer teams[edit]

Andreas Mikkelsen, in the Ford Fiesta S2000, on his way to second place on the 2010 Rally Scotland (SS4 Drummond Hill).

Beside the official Ford cars, the team also runs two cars on behalf of the Stobart M-Sport Ford Rally Team.[1] Matthew Wilson and Henning Solberg were the two drivers competing in 2010. On occasions, a third car was be run with a "guest" driver.

Argentinian team Munchi's Ford World Rally Team also entrusts the preparation and running of its car to M-Sport.[1] The driver running for the team in the 2010 WRC season was Federico Villagra.

For the 2010 season, M-Sport ran a Ford Focus RS WRC 08 for Ken Block on behalf of the Monster World Rally Team.[2]

Ford Fiesta S2000[edit]

At the beginning of 2009 Ford with M-Sport started work on a S2000 rally version of the new Ford Fiesta. The new car, designed by Christian Loriaux, was launched on 18 November 2009 at M-Sport's headquarters. The car will made its public debut as a course car at the IRC Rally Scotland driven by Matthew Wilson. Ford did not run a works entry in the 2010 IRC but M-Sport did its own programme of events with Ford's support both on the technical and financial side.[3] M-Sport announced on 8 January 2010 that it was entering the IRC which means that Ford will be a registered manufacturer in the series.[4] Works Ford WRC driver Mikko Hirvonen gave the car its first competitive outing on the Monte Carlo Rally leading the event from start to finish.[5]

A number of private entry were made in the 2010 Super 2000 World Rally Championship.

Other series[edit]

FSTi rally car at Rally Japan

The company also runs the one-make Fiesta Sporting Trophy rally series, which it launched in 2006, and the Fiesta Sporting Trophy International (FSTi) series.[1][6][7] M-Sport started preparing Bentley Continental GT3 for Blancpain Endurance Series and British GT Championship in 2014.

Complete Blancpain Endurance Series results[edit]

Year Entrant No Car Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 Drivers Points Teams Points
2014 M-Sport Bentley 7 Bentley Continental GT3 United Kingdom Steven Kane MNZ
8
SIL PRI SPA NUR 7th 6 5th 10
United Kingdom Guy Smith
United Kingdom Andy Meyrick
8 Bentley Continental GT3 Belgium Jérôme d'Ambrosio MNZ
7
SIL PRI SPA NUR 6th 8
United Kingdom Duncan Tappy
France Antoine Leclerc

* Season in progress.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d M-Sport
  2. ^ http://www.monsterworldrallyteam.com/blogs monster world rally team.com/blogs
  3. ^ Ford rules out works IRC entry Autosport website 17 November 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2009
  4. ^ M-Sport joins the Intercontinental Rally Challenge IRC Website 2010-01-08 Retrieved 2010-01-09
  5. ^ "Monte triumph delights Hirvonen". ircseries.com (Intercontinental Rally Challenge). 23 January 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  6. ^ "Ford Fiesta Sporting Trophy". Fiestasportingtrophy.com. Retrieved 27 November 2011. 
  7. ^ :: Ford Fiesta Sporting Trophy ::[dead link]

External links[edit]