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M-Sport reveals customer interest in new Puma WRC car

M-Sport’s new Rally1 Ford Puma has received “a lot of interest” from potential customers ahead of the car’s debut in the World Rally Championship next year.

Puma Rally1 WRC Prototype

M-Sport

The British squad in conjunction with Ford has designed and developed the all-new Puma in accordance with the WRC’s Rally1 regulations shift that will see all cars fitted with a 100kW plug in hybrid system.

After launching the car at July’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, the team has been conducting tests across Europe to ensure the car is ready for its debut at the 2022 season opening Monte Carlo Rally in January.

Alongside its own WRC squad, M-Sport has traditionally operated a strong customer programme, building and selling Ford rally cars for competitors across then world.

While the Puma is yet to make its competitive debut, M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson says the car has already created plenty of interest from prospective customers and hopes to be in a position to supply cars to competitors next year.

Puma Rally1 WRC Prototype

Puma Rally1 WRC Prototype

Photo by: M-Sport

“I’m really pleased to say there is a lot of interest from customers around the world, interested in purchasing, interested in renting car for WRC and that its crucial for us to actually stay in WRC at the highest level,” said Wilson during a WRC 2022 presentation at the IAA Mobility in Munich.

“Hopefully we can be in a position to rent some cars out next year and to sell some cars.

"Historically we have always sold between eight and 14 WRC cars a year which is a big part of our business model and sadly in the last four or five years we haven’t had that.

“There is definitely more interest in this car than the current car.”

Wilson’s claims back up comments from FIA rally director Yves Matton who revealed to Autosport last month that the WRC could see as many as 12 cars compete next season amid increased interest from privateers in the new machinery.

M-Sport is working to field three entries in WRC next season but is yet to announce its driver line-up for next season.

French rising star Adrien Fourmaux is expected to retain his seat at the squad having been heavily involved in the development of the new Puma.

The team is also understood to have held talks with Hyundai’s Craig Breen, who is keen to secure a full-time campaign next year. Preliminary discussions have been held with nine-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb regarding a possible partial campaign next year.

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