M-Sport Ford secured a record-breaking result at this weekend’s Rallye Monte-Carlo – Esapekka Lappi and Teemu Suninen securing the team’s 250th consecutive FIA World Rally Championship points finish.
The record started 18 years ago when Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae piloted their Ford Focus RS WRCs to third and fourth places at the 2002 edition of the Monegasque event, and since then the team has secured manufacturer points on every event contested.
A total of 22 drivers and 28 co-drivers contributed to the achievement which includes seven FIA World Rally Championship titles – three for Manufacturers, two for Drivers and two for Co-drivers – as well as an impressive 50 victories and 185 podiums.
The record won’t be beaten for many years to come, and includes some of the most stand-out moments in rallying history.
A one-two finish for Marcus Grönholm and Mikko Hirvonen at Rally New Zealand in 2006 secured Ford’s first world title in 27 years, and that was followed by a second consecutive title at Rally Ireland the following year.
In 2008 Jari-Matti Latvala became the youngest FIA World Rally Championship winner with a maiden victory at Rally Sweden, and in 2011 the Ford Fiesta RS WRC made its competitive debut with a clean-sweep of the podium at the Swedish fixture.
In 2003 Markko Märtin’s victory at Rally Finland warranted a presidential visit, and in 2015 another Estonian made the headlines – Ott’s Tänak’s Fiesta RS WRC resurrected to secure a championship point after being submerged at the bottom of a lake for more than 10 hours.
And in 2017, M-Sport delivered one of the sport’s greatest ever success stories – a private team from the edge of the English Lake District overcoming the might of three of the world’s leading manufacturers to secured the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers, Drivers and Co-drivers as well as the rally win on home soil at Wales Rally GB.
M-Sport and Ford have together made history, and aim to continue making history and creating incredible sporting success stories for many years to come.
M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“This is something I’m extremely proud of and something that I don’t think will be beaten for a very long time, if ever! It’s testament to the incredible team we have at Dovenby Hall – and especially when you consider that we didn’t have restarts when the record began.
“Dedication and attention to detail is something we pride alongside our passion and commitment to the sport, and that’s played a big part in our reliability and success over the years.
“I would like to say a huge thanks to all the 22 drivers and 28 co-drivers who made this possible, and an even bigger thanks to all of the personnel who have passed through the doors of Dovenby Hall – without whom this incredible record wouldn’t have been possible.”
Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsport, Mark Rushbrook, said:
“M-Sport and Ford have together achieved something unparalleled in motorsport – 250 consecutive WRC points finishes fully reflects the dedication and professionalism of the M‑Sport team and is yet another milestone for one of the motorsport’s most iconic and successful partnerships.
“When you consider the longest streak of consecutive points for any F1 team was 81 for Ferrari between 2010 and 2014, and then consider the brutal punishment that WRC cars take, it really puts M-Sport’s achievement in perspective. We are so proud of the M-Sport Ford team and look forward to many years of success in the future.”