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JUN 23, 2024 | M-Sport Press Release

M-SPORT FORD WORLD RALLY TEAM CELEBRATES WORLD RECORD MILESTONE WITH 300TH CONSECUTIVE FIA WRC MANUFACTURER POINTS FINISH

Puma Rally1 goes through finish line

ITALY - M-Sport Ford World Rally Team proudly reached an extraordinary milestone at last month’s Rally Italia Sardegna, achieving their 300th consecutive FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) manufacturer points finish. This feat, never seen before in any form of motorsport, was secured through the exceptional performances of Adrien Fourmaux and Grégoire Munster, whose crucial contributions cemented this historic achievement.
 
This remarkable record began 22 years ago, when Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae finished third and fourth in the Ford Focus WRC at the 2002 Rallye Monte Carlo. Since that pivotal event, M-Sport has amassed Manufacturer Championship points at every rally entered, achieving key milestones such as the 100th event at Rally Turkey in 2008, the 200th event at Rally Mexico in 2016, and the 300th event at Rally Sardinia in 2024.
 
Over six continents, 29 countries, and 84,365 km of rallying, the relentless efforts of 29 drivers, 38 co-drivers, and the entire M-Sport team have been instrumental in reaching this important milestone. Every point, whether arduously earned or easily secured, demonstrates M-Sport's unwavering commitment to excellence and performance.
 
Reflecting on this journey, M-Sport UK Chairman Malcolm Wilson shared a few of his favourite memories from the past 22 years.
 
Firstly, Wilson fondly recalls the 2006 Rallye Monte Carlo, significant for introducing the new Ford Focus RS WRC, with Marcus Grönholm securing a debut victory. He described this as "another classic" moment, emphasizing it was “our first win in Monte Carlo, which is always a rally you aspire to win as a team principal and manufacturer.”
 
Another high point was the 2006 running of Rally New Zealand. As the penultimate rally of the season, the BP Ford World Rally Team was on the brink of clinching their first-ever manufacturers’ trophy. Grönholm and Mikko Hirvonen would show their class by securing first and second positions, delivering maximum points and earning M-Sport the accolade of FIA World Rally Manufacturers' championship for the first time – a landmark achievement for Wilson’s Cumbrian squad.
 
But the top of the list would always be Wales Rally GB in 2017, which he admits brought a "tear to his eye." The final stage of the rally, Brenig, would see a different achievement accomplished with each M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC that crossed the flying finish. Firstly Ott Tänak and Martin Jarveoja would finish the power stage to secure the team’s third manufacturers' championship. Shortly after, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia would finish the rally and clinch M-Sport’s first ever drivers’ and co-drivers’ championships. Lastly, but by no means least, Elfyn Evans and Dan Barritt would be the last car through the timing boards, thus claiming their maiden WRC win. Wilson described it as his “most emotional” memory in WRC, underscoring its significance given M-Sport’s status as a semi-works team. He added, “so many things happened at that rally in such a short space of time,” making it a cherished memory not only for him, but also the entire team.
 
But achieving this world record success has not always been straightforward for M-Sport. One memory that stands out was the infamous 'Titänak' incident on 2015’s Rally Mexico, when Ott Tänak's Ford Fiesta WRC plunged into a lake and ended up fully submersed for over eight hours. Despite the water damage, the car was retrieved, and to the surprise of everyone, M-Sport set to work on repairing it in only three hours. The team pulled off a heroic effort and Tänak was out again the following day and would go on to finish the event.
 
The 2019 Tour de Corse would also bring heartbreak for the team. Elfyn Evans had driven brilliantly and was poised to win his second ever WRC event, but on the brink of victory he would suffer a puncture on the final kilometres of the Power Stage, dropping him to third place.
 
Despite these setbacks, these instances only further enhanced the team’s resilience and determination to keep scoring results on every event over the 22-year time span.
 
This remarkable achievement of 300 consecutive scoring events would not have been possible without the unwavering support of Ford Motor Company, which has stood by Malcolm Wilson and M-Sport throughout their journey. This milestone perfectly embodies Ford's core values of Performance and Reliability, underscoring the synergy between these values and M-Sport's relentless pursuit of excellence, and solidifying their enduring presence in the World Rally Championship.
 
The team will celebrate this achievement over the coming weeks with video highlights of selected team members, past and present, social media posts, commemorative stickers and a special front grille carried on the competition cars during Rally Poland.
 
Malcolm Wilson, M-Sport UK Chairman said:

"Reaching 300 consecutive scoring events is a testament to our team's unwavering dedication and commitment. Their relentless effort, combined with the support of Ford Motor Company, truly embodies the spirit of performance and reliability that drives us to excel in the World Rally Championship. I would like to thank every single member of staff, driver, co-driver and fan that has been with us along the entire, or parts of the journey. This simply wouldn’t be possible without any of you and I am tremendously proud of what we have achieved. I now look towards trying to achieve 350!”
 
Mark Rushbrook, Global Head of Ford Performance said:
“To deliver 300 consecutive points finishes in WRC is quite incredible. I can’t think of any motorsport team that has ever delivered anything on this scale in any formula and Malcolm and the M-Sport team are pushing the boundaries of what it means to deliver excellence. We have had a great relationship with M-Sport over the decades and we congratulate and thank them for the dedication and hard work that it takes to deliver this performance.”