M-sport tak­ing Evo upgrade or­ders

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - David Evans

Ford founder Henry Ford would have ap­proved of M-sport’s suc­cess with its 2016-spec­i­fi­ca­tion Fi­esta R5.

True to Ford’s mantra, the car won on Sun­day and sold on Mon­day. Ac­tu­ally, that’s not ex­actly true: it led on Fri­day, was sell­ing on Satur­day and se­ri­ously sell­ing on Mon­day.

M-sport’s Mal­colm Wil­son was de­lighted with the step his team has made in the de­vel­op­ment of the R5 car.

“It’s been the dream de­but,” he said. “We knew the car was a big step for­ward, but un­til we saw it in ac­tion and in real com­pe­ti­tion, we didn’t hon­estly know just how big. It’s fan­tas­tic. For me, this is the big­gest ad­vance M-sport has ever made in the time we have been do­ing en­gines. We haven’t made as big a per­for­mance gain with any­thing we’ve done be­fore. And the re­ally good news is that we haven’t touched the car, it’s run ab­so­lutely fault­lessly through the rally.”

Much of this first stage of up­grades to the Fi­esta R5 are cen­tred on the en­gine; the se­cond stage – the chas­sis im­prove­ments– are com­ing in March.

“The good news for M-sport is that we’ve been tak­ing or­ders for cars over the week­end,” added Wil­son. “Un­der­stand­ably, peo­ple have waited to see what the car’s like be­fore pick­ing up the phone. But they’re call­ing now!”

Talk­ing about the new car, WRC2 win­ner Evans said: “The car has come on leaps and bounds from where it started.”

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