|M-Sport Ford World Rally Team have started the year as they mean to go on – leading the FIA World Rally Championships for Manufacturers, Drivers and Co-drivers courtesy of a sixth Rallye Monte-Carlo victory for Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia, and a resurgent fight-back to sixth place for Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt.
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“This season is going to be closer than ever and we got it off to the perfect start this weekend. Rallye Monte-Carlo is an event that everyone wants to win, so to have secured back-to-back victories here is fantastic; and it doesn’t get much better than leading all three championships.
“Sébastien and Julien really did have everything under control. We saw mistakes from almost everyone, but they made it count when it mattered. There really is no one stronger when it comes to strategy and it’s no surprise that they have been unbeaten here for the past five years.
“Elfyn was unlucky to have lost so much time on Thursday evening, but he fought back strongly and could have challenged for fourth place were the conditions more consistent today. Had everything gone to plan, he had the pace to have challenged for the podium this weekend, and he should definitely take encouragement from that.
“Bryan too had a really solid debut with the Ford Fiesta WRC. Having to change co-driver at the final hour cannot have been easy, but he produced a really intelligent drive and learnt a lot which will give him a good base to build on when he returns to the team in Corsica.”
Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsport, Mark Rushbrook, said:
“Congratulations to Sébastien and Julien on another well-deserved victory. It’s the perfect start to the season, and it’s fantastic to see the new Ford Fiesta securing back-to-back victories at an event as prestigious as Rallye Monte-Carlo. The team did a great job battling the adverse stage conditions as well.
“The work that Malcolm and our teams have done over the winter break is clearly paying dividends and we’ll be working hard with M-Sport to ensure the good results continue throughout the year.”