The 'Cumbrian Maranello' where Ford's WRC giants are born
M-Sport is changing the game as a World Rally Championship powerhouse, inspired by Ferrari's legendary Formula 1 base. Autosport was afforded a behind-the-scenes look at its new headquarters, the result of a vision that has taken three decades to be realised, where its new Rally1 Puma took shape
The seeds were sown from a trip to Ferrari’s famous Maranello base 30 years ago and, after a decade of graft, M-Sport now has its own piece of Fiorano on its doorstep. This is the vision of M-Sport founder Malcolm Wilson that became reality this year when the final pieces of the project finally came together. The result is a 1.7-mile FIA Grade 3 test track that is surrounded by a new ultra-modern behemoth of a workshop.
Approaching the Cumbrian village of Dovenby, there’s a sign that reads ‘Welcome to Dovenby, please drive carefully’. It’s a touch ironic, since within 100 metres of that sign is the headquarters of World Rally Championship powerhouse M-Sport.
He may only be contesting a part-time campaign in the World Rally Championship these days, but Sebastien Ogier underlined that he's lost none of his speed in the 2023 season opener. Storming to yet another victory on the Monte Carlo Rally, the eight-time world champion rewrote the history books again as Toyota served notice of its intentions with a crushing 1-2
Audi should have been invincible in the snowy conditions that typically greeted the World Rally Championship paddock in Monte Carlo. But unexpectedly warm weather for the 1983 season opener, combined with some left-field thinking from the Lancia crew turned the tables. Forty years on, team boss Cesare Fiorio reflects on a smash and grab
M-Sport had a disastrous 2022 with its Rally1 Ford Pumas following Sebastien Loeb’s first-time-out win on the Monte. But now things are looking up with 2019 world champion Ott Tanak leading its attack, and the Cumbrian operation has optimism that it can challenge for a first title since Sebastien Ogier's departure at the end of 2018
As Kalle Rovanpera begins his World Rally Championship title defence in Monte Carlo, the Finn knows he has a target on his back. But who is best placed to knock the Toyota ace off his perch?
Question: what could be harder than becoming the youngest-ever World Rally champion? Answer: becoming the youngest-ever two-time World Rally champion. That's quite the challenge facing Toyota's Kalle Rovanpera in 2022, particularly against rejuvenated opposition in the second year of the WRC's hybrid regulations
OPINION: New Hyundai WRC team boss Cyril Abiteboul admits he’s got a lot to learn as he leads the marque's efforts to dethrone Toyota. But could his Formula 1 experience and evident strengths mean he turns out to be an inspired choice?
Toyota was unstoppable in the 2021 World Rally Championship, with an excellent 75% strike rate from 12 rallies. But in a scary proposition for its rivals, the Japanese marque had built a car for the final year of the previous regulations set which it believes was much faster and could feasibly have crushed the opposition completely. Here the story of its mothballed world-beater
Neuville expects “more nerve wracking moments than ever" in WRC 2022
Loeb wants more WRC drives but Monte Carlo could be only 2022 outing
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