Ford ended its factory involvement in the World Rally Championship five years ago despite the resilient M-Sport team continued using the American automaker’s rally machines.
M-Sport did one better in 2017 as it won the world title with Sebastien Ogier amidst having no factory support from Ford using the rally-based Fiesta. The French firm had said that Ogier wanted support from Ford in order for him to remain. Ford sees the opportunity as worth trying and has officially announced that it will adopt a higher profile next year as the M-Sport team has been given a factory boost and will be called as M-Sport Ford World Rally Team.
It’s great to see the Ford name back alongside M-Sport in the World Rally Championship as the increased level of technical support from Ford Performance will be there to defend the two world titles. Wilson’s M-Sport organisation which ran Ford’s factory team from 1997 to 2012 has cumulatively won 52 times while being able to achieve manufacturers’ crown in 2006 and 2007.
As for the 2018 WRC season, the manufacturer entrants are Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT using C3 WRC, Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team with i20 Coupe WRC, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team with Fiesta WRC) and Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT with Yaris WRC car.