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1. M-Sport in brief

M-Sport is a private rally team created in 1979 by Malcolm Wilson, a former British driver. The Cockermouth, UK-based team has 64 WRC wins and 271 podiums. Its arrival in the World Rally Championship dates back to 1997, when M-Sport acquired the contract to operate and promote the Ford World Rally team.

Today, the British team is an integral part of the international rally landscape. With three manufacturers' world championship titles, in 2006, 2007 and 2017, M-Sport has honored the Ford brand in the WRC and continues to do so using a Ford Puma Rally1, driven by Adrien Fourmaux and Grégoire Munster.

However, the M-Sport name did not appear immediately in the World Rally Championship since the team was in charge of Ford's official entry, and therefore raced under the name of the American brand. It was in 2013, when the latter withdrew from the WRC, that M-Sport took off as a full-fledged team.

2. The history of M-Sport in the WRC

The team's first season under Malcolm Wilson dates back to 1997, under the name Ford World Rally Team. In the first year, the Cockermouth team won its first WRC rounds, in Greece and Indonesia. A full season which allowed Ford to finish second in the manufacturers' standings.

In 1998, M-Sport led the design of the new Ford Focus WRC. A car which will already be in competition the following year, with a certain Colin McRae at the wheel…

The years 2006 and 2007 represent the golden age of M-Sport. Malcolm Wilson's small team managed to win two manufacturers' titles for Ford. Unfortunately, no drivers' title for Marcus Grönholm or Mikko Hirvonen, the two drivers at the time.

Malcolm wilson

Malcolm Wilson celebrating his first WRC title in 2006. ©DPPI

In October 2012, an earthquake shook the M-Sport team. Ford announces its withdrawal from the World Rally Championship. However, the American firm continues to remain close to M-Sport which therefore becomes the team we know today.

10 after their last title, the British team once again dominates the WRC thanks to Sébastien Ogier. Manufacturers' title for M-Sport and drivers' title for the Frenchman, the Ford Fiesta WRC wins everything. Rebelotte in 2018 for Ogier who won a new world title with the Ford (however, no manufacturers' title for M-Sport, beaten by Hyundai).

Ogier 2017

Sébastien Ogier, WRC world champion in 2017. ©DPPI


3. M-Sport drivers in WRC in 2024

For this 2024 season, M-Sport has placed its trust in Adrien Fourmaux and Grégoire Munster. A rather young duo of drivers: 28 years old for the first and 25 years old for the second. Both are following a full program for this new season. Adrien Fourmaux is entering his third season in the premier category of full-time rallying while Grégoire Munster is completing his first full year as a driver for M-Sport (although he has already driven the Ford Puma Rally1 in 2023).

4. AUTOhebdo's opinion on M-Sport

Since its arrival in 1997, M-Sport has established itself as a benchmark in the World Rally Championship (WRC). The British team has won three constructors' titles (the first in 2006, the second in 2007 and the most recent in 2017) and two drivers' titles with Sébastien Ogier. In total, there are 64 victories and 271 podiums in the WRC. An honorable track record to say the least.

However, since this last title for the 20th anniversary of M-Sport in the WRC, the British company has had difficulty worrying Toyota or Hyundai. The two Asian brands seem untouchable and far too far from the small Cockermouth team which can hardly play for victories regularly.

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