M-Sport Ford chase success in Corsica

M-Sport Ford chase success in Corsica

31.03.2018: M-Sport Ford World Rally Team have enjoyed a strong start to this yearís FIA World Rally Championship.

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team have enjoyed a strong start to this year’s FIA World Rally Championship.



After three events, the team have secured two victories and will be chasing a third when the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs don their asphalt guise for next week’s Corsica Linea – Tour de Corse.
 


Making the most of the increased technical support from Ford Performance, the Rally Mexico winning Fiesta made its way to Indianapolis in America earlier this month for some aerodynamic research and development at the Blue Oval’s state-of-the-art wind tunnel.
 


With attention on the first pure asphalt event of the year, the team also spent last week conducting a comprehensive test in Corsica – targeting specific set-ups to ensure that Sébastien Ogier, Elfyn Evans and returnee Bryan Bouffier are best prepared for the challenges ahead.
 


But the wintry weather struck once again – the test team stranded in Heathrow overnight which meant the five-day test was reduced to just four. Despite the delay, the Cumbrian squad remain well prepared and the crews determined to make their mark on the Rally of 10,000 Corners.





TOUR DE CORSE  10,000 CORNERS



It’s not hard to see why the Tour de Corse is known as the Rally of 10,000 Corners. Narrow roads wind through the island’s mountain ranges – turn after turn creating some of the FIA World Rally Championship’s most iconic stages.
 


If you think of corners when you think of the Tour de Corse, you also think of endurance. This year’s itinerary has been significantly updated but the route retains its traditional challenge with 333.48 competitive kilometres split into just 12 speed tests.
 


Almost two-thirds of the stage distance differs from last year’s encounter, but the narrow roads, abrasive asphalt and breath-taking scenery all remain.
 


The event gets underway on Friday with two loops of three stages south-west of the host town of Bastia. The following day’s action is the longest – covering 136.90 kilometres that extends to the northernmost Cap Corse before turning west to L’Île Rousse.
 


The event comes to a close with a mammoth 55.17 kilometre test on Sunday morning and the coastal town of Ajaccio hosts the ceremonial finish at Place du Diamant.
 


At the Tour de Corse, focus is key. The tight and twisty roads demand respect and the abrasive asphalt often brings tyre management to the fore. The smallest of mistakes can be heavily punished and pacenotes must be delivered with the upmost precision.
 


The island weather can also prove difficult to predict, and driver, co-driver, team and car must work in complete synchronicity as they hunt the top results.


 



MALCOLM WILSON  TEAM PRINCIPAL


With Sébastien Ogier leading the drivers’ standings, Julien Ingrassia leading the co-drivers’ standings and the team just 12 points shy of the lead in the manufacturers’ standings, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team are keen to deliver another strong result next week.
 


The competition will be tough, but Team Principal Malcolm Wilson knows that his team has the potential to deliver another strong performance.




 
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

 


“With two wins from the first three events, we’ve got our season off to another fantastic start and hope to see that continue at next week’s Tour de Corse.
 


“Sébastien, Elfyn and Bryan all really enjoy this event and all have some impressive results to their names in Corsica. We’ll be hoping that plays to our advantage, and I’m looking forward to seeing what each of them can deliver.
 


“Leading the championship, Sébastien is exactly where he needs to be and well-placed to challenge for a top result. Elfyn and Bryan’s road position could put them at something of a disadvantage, but I know that they are both hungry for a strong result.
 


“The competition will be fierce, but we’ve made a lot of progress and have the potential to deliver another strong performance next week. We all know how challenging this event can be, but we’re well prepared and determined to deliver once more.”








REMEMBERING  HENRY HOPE-FROST


In memory of the late Henry Hope-Frost, the two leading Ford Fiesta WRCs will carry the hashtag ‘Fever’ at next week’s Tour de Corse, as well as the names of his three young sons.
 



M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
 

“We were all truly shocked and saddened to hear of Henry’s passing. His knowledge was unrivalled, and his passion for motorsport had the ability to capture the imagination of all who met him.



 More than that, he was a true gentleman whose character, professionalism and enthusiasm will never be forgotten. Our thoughts remain with his family and friends, as well as all those he inspired along the way.”
 



Senior Manager at Ford Performance, Gerard Quinn, said:

 


“All at Ford who have worked with Henry Hope-Frost over many years were saddened to hear of his tragic accident.  His love and knowledge of all things Ford endeared him to so many of us.  A charismatic charming and witty individual, Henry has left an indelible mark on motorsport. 
 


“He was an amazing character that enriched the lives of so many that he came into contact with through the sport that he was truly passionate about.  He will forever remain in our memories;



events such as Goodwood and Autosport International Show will be emptier places following his passing.  We wish our sincerest sympathies to his family and many friends around the globe.”  

 

 

Anna Louise Rudd- photos M-SPORT

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/m-sport-ford-chase-success-corsica---174362.html

31.03.2018 / MaP

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