M-Sport to evaluate options after Ford ends works support
|By Sam Tremayne||Monday, October 15th 2012, 15:22 GMT|
Malcolm Wilson admits his M-Sport outfit will need to reviews its options in the wake of Ford's decision to withdraw works support for its WRC effort.
M-Sport has run Ford's factory squad since 1997 and has taken 52 wins, plus the manufacturers' world championships in 2006 and '07.
Wilson pledged to continue developing the Fiesta WRC in preparation for 2013, but said its future programme would have to be reviewed.
Ford is in talks with M-Sport to provide continued vehicle and engineering support.
"Confirmation of our key championship programmes for 2013 is our first priority and a challenge that the team here is very much looking forward to," Wilson said.
"After that we can review all options and determine the right direction for the future.
"My intention is that we will continue to push to secure stage wins and overall results on the forthcoming events for Ford and to push forward with the development work that was started in March this year to improve and refine the Fiesta WRC even further, ready for the 2013 season.
"We will also continue to work closely with our colleagues at Ford Racing towards the launch of the Fiesta R5 for March 2013 and the improvements that we are working on for the R2 car which will continue to the form the basis of a series of national and regional young driver programmes in the future."
Wilson paid tribute to Ford's role in a partnership that has spanned 16 seasons, and said he sympathised with the company's decision.
"M-Sport is extremely proud of our history with Ford since 1997," he added.
"208 podium finishes, scoring points on 156 consecutive events and 52 wins from 225 starts in the WRC along with two world titles underlines the dedication and commitment of the whole team in Cumbria.
"I would like to thank Ford of Europe for their enthusiastic support and the faith shown in the team over the past 16 seasons.
"We understand that tough decisions have had to be made to safeguard Ford jobs, we accept the commercial reality of the situation and look forward to continuing our strong technical partnership into the future."