This March, M-Sport is spotlighting some of the women behind the business in honour of Women's History Month.
DARA - ENGINE DEPARTMENT
As part of our busy engine department, Dara keeps the team on track with parts orders, quality control and build planners. She also attends all BTCC races where she produces weekend race reports and analyses data to highlight any potential issues and speed comparisons between engines. This year, she will also incorporate hybrid boost deployment to deliver optimum lap times.
Upon leaving school, Dara completed studies in motorsport before going on to achieve a Bachelor’s Degree in Competition Car Technology at Myerscough College; which she followed up with a Masters in Motorsport Engineering.
As for the future, she hopes to further develop her career in engine engineering; with a short-term emphasis on continuing her work with coding and developing the information we provide our race teams with further input on getting the most out of their engine performance.
“Every day comes with a new challenge and I never really know how the day is going to unfold when I walk into the office each morning. Being able to quickly jump from one task to another is fairly crucial, and things can change so quickly with different jobs taking priority. A good understanding of how systems work and the processes that need to be undertaken definitely helps too – especially when working with other departments as you need to understand the whole process to ensure everything flows as smoothly and efficiently as possible.”
LENKA - FINANCE ASSISTANT
As a member of our busy finance team, Lenka is responsible for the financial, administrative and clerical support of the company. Coordinating business spending whilst keeping track of company purchases, she supports the smooth and continued running of the team.
Lenka is the epitome of a hardworking team member and learnt her trade whilst in employment. Moving to the UK from Slovakia, she started work as an Archivist for Renault UK; and progressed through the company with her can do attitude – ultimately becoming Purchase Ledger for three of the manufacture’s biggest UK branches.
Always putting a lot of care and effort into whatever she does, Lenka has many strings to her bow and gained a number of skills through a variety of different jobs, but it’s in finance where her highly organised and patient demeanour truly excels.
With a passion for numbers, she finds job satisfaction in problem solving and seeing a task through to completion. As for the future, Lenka has found her home as part of the M-Sport family and plans to remain a valued member of our team for many years to come.
“I have done so many different things and achieved so much to be proud of in my life; and I can tell you honestly that I have found my home and that I plan to be with M-Sport until the day I retire. I moved to another country, learnt a different language, found a job I enjoy and am trusted to do that job well. When we first moved to Cumbria my husband said that M-Sport would be the perfect place for me, and he was completely right.”
SELINA - JUNIOR FABRICATOR
A crucial joint in the fabrication team, Selina joined M-Sport in August 2022 as a Junior Fabricator after studying the craft at college. Her days are spent working on welding parts for our Fiesta Rally2s, and she finds great satisfaction in seeing the completed cars head out to compete on the world stages, and to her relief, mostly come back in one piece!
Selina learnt the basics of fabrication at college after being given the choice between that and joinery; off the back of two years of engineering (which included a small bit of fabrication work that she hated at the time!), she found her way back to the trade, and what’s ended up being her calling.
Since joining M-Sport, she has expanded her skills by working under the careful eye of John Shervington, who she has come to greatly admire and whose expertise she hopes one day to emulate. Her learning started on day one, as she was set to work rebuilding differential guards for Huttunen’s Rally2 car he would drive in Ypres, while on her work trial! She hopes to have the opportunity to test her skills out on a rally sometime in the future.
She loves the precision of her work and finding creative and methodical ways to complete a nice, clean weld. Always thinking one-step ahead of every fold and bond, Selina uses her engineering brain and strategical analysis to find the most efficient ways to achieve (literally) strong results. She’s a key part of the team, collaborating with the other fabricators to problem solve and get the jobs done to support the core of M-Sport’s cars in action.
“I think the most exciting bit is that you can be sat at a bench welding something one day, and then a few weeks later it goes on a car that’s competing on a rally. The best part is knowing and seeing where it goes and see the work you’ve done, we can see the cars on the track just outside, and hopefully everything holds! It’s really rewarding to see it all come together.”
CÉLINE - SPORTING CO-ORDINATOR
Céline manages the sporting and regulatory elements of our World Rally Team on a daily basis. From filling out entry forms, ensuring everything is up to code, right to when the cars go over the finishing ramp, Céline controls it all.
Beginning her rally career in 2006, Céline is one of the most experienced members of our team. Initially working in customer competitor relations, she expanded her skill set to include team logistics and travel management and eventually sporting regulations, and has worked for manufacturers including Renault, Hyundai and Citroën.
Achieving her dream job when coming into the Sporting Co-ordinator role at M-Sport, Céline works on everything that relates to what happens on a rally. An intermediary between other teams, the FIA and the WRC Promoter, Céline helps advise on itineraries, logistics and event regulations. She prepares schedules for the team ahead of an event, oversees the rally reconnaissance and supports with service park management.
Always amidst the action, once the rally starts Céline works closely with the co-drivers to re-assure them of the rally rules, particularly with new regulations regarding the hybrid systems and electric vehicle (EV) requirements. She follows the cars through the stages via their trackers, oversees their service and time control check-in times, anticipates problems and is always ready with a solution. She ensures everything stays on schedule, managing timecards for co-drivers; after the crews themselves, Céline is one of most important elements of keeping everything on track!
“I just love the feeling when you’re on a rally, you’re under pressure from co-drivers and team members and everyone’s relying on you to answer quickly and get things sorted. That’s the best part for me; most of the work is done but the demand is very high, it’s the time to be reactive and I enjoy the fast-paced nature of it all.”
EMILY - MEDIA AND MERCHANDISING
Emily joined the team as a graduate and supports the public image of the company at every turn. From handling media requests to devising press releases and social posts, coordinating driver schedules to managing guest experiences, approving licensed products to ensuring partner integration – Emily oversees it all.
Having Studied English Literature and History at University, Emily was looking for work in the realm of publishing before her father pointed her in the direction of M-Sport. Having contested a number of road rallies alongside her father, rallying had always been a part of Emily’s life but she never considered it as a career. That was until she took the leap and now finds herself coordinating the PR and Marketing of a World Championship winning team and driver.
In her area of expertise, an eye for detail is essential and Emily combines her meticulous approach with a flare for creativity and problem solving. As for the future, she’s keen to see what comes her way with a keenness for new opportunities and a willingness to face every challenge head on.
“Being able to go on events is a big privilege. It’s hard work and the days are pretty long, but I really enjoy that fast-paced environment and there’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of an event. It’s so exciting; there’s always something that needs doing and I get to work alongside everyone. Drivers, Co-drivers, Technicians, Engineers, Sporting Coordinators – I get to work alongside them all; experiencing but also promoting how everyone’s individual input goes into producing a winning performance.”
NICOLA - HEAD OF ELECTRICAL
Heading up our Electrical Department, Nicola is responsible for the smooth running of our electrical team. Organising and delegating workloads, arranging event support and maintaining stock levels – Nicola ensures quality work meets strict deadlines, and is also an expert harness builder herself.
She built the first main loom for the Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 in just over 10 weeks – that’s more than a kilometre of electrical wire hand stripped, crimped and woven into the lifeline of our top-specification world rally car.
She has a penchant for detail and combines her managerial role with the hands-on work that underpins her passion for the job. Claiming there’s nothing better than a good-looking wiring loom, she likens the build process to an army of soldiers as everything has to be identical and, “you have to keep your soldiers in line!”
When Nicola joined the M-Sport family we only built top-specification world rally cars. During her time with the team, she has seen the company diversify with a comprehensive ladder of opportunity and the introduction of race cars; and now rally raid vehicles too.
“I like being busy and getting involved in lots of different things. There’s always something different going on and we’ve tried to run our department so that everyone gets to have a go at everything. We’re always learning and like to bounce ideas off each other and work together to find new and more effective ways of operating. We’re always discussing how we can improve things and that’s vital for development – for the development of ourselves as well as the products we’re producing.”
HAYLEY - JUNIOR TECHNICIAN
As a Junior Technician, Hayley is responsible for preparing and maintaining our Rally2 cars on event. Ensuring a consistently high level of quality build, she works closely with her fellow technicians and engineers to deliver performance and reliability.
Despite having a degree in Motorsport Engineering, Hayley prefers practical work and is at her happiest when getting her hands dirty working on the rally cars.
Whilst studying for her degree at Coventry University, she spent a year producing high-horsepower engines for use in the shipping and mining industries; and ran a BMW 330i in the 750 Motor Club before making the move to Cumbria and joining the M-Sport family.
As for the future, her ambition is to continue learning from her experienced colleagues – adding to her own knowledge and skillset with the ultimate goal of becoming a lead technician. She’s particularly inspired by our very own Gavin Grimshaw who has carved out a niche in the company by successfully combining his engineering expertise with the practicalities of hands-on car maintenance and build.
“I’m too practical for an office-based job, and love getting my hands dirty whilst working on the rally cars. The most important part of this job is having a willingness to learn. The motorsport industry moves so quickly that there’s always something new to get to grips with, and having the confidence to ask questions is what makes the difference when it comes to increasing your own knowledge becoming a better technician.”