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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Rally world sends its support to M-Sport in Cumbria

Hundreds of messages of support have flooded in to M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson as the future of his firm’s World Rally team hangs in the balance.

Malcolm Wilson photo
Malcolm Wilson

Related: Cumbria's M-Sport to 'review all options' after Ford quits WRC

The future of the firm’s World Rally team, based at Dovenby, was thrown into jeopardy on Monday when Ford announced it was pulling its sponsorship after a review of its European business.

M-Sport builds and prepares rally cars and has 230 staff in Cumbria and Poland.

Ford’s decision to stop world rallying after the present season has raised fears of job cuts but Mr Wilson hopes that new backers can be found to safeguard the future of his workforce.

The firm has received hundreds of messages of support from customers, team partners and suppliers, and other World Rally teams across the world.

Mr Wilson said: “I have been touched from both within the company and outside of M-Sport by the support we’ve had.

“We’ve had 10 times the number of messages that we had when we won the world championships. It’s unbelievable and very much appreciated.”

Ford will continue to provide M-Sport with engineering and vehicle support and a new Fiesta F5 for Ford Racing will be launched from Wilson’s business in March 2013.

He described Monday as the worst day of his career but is determined M-Sport will continue to thrive.

He said: “We still have a lot of positives and at the moment it is business as usual.

“Ford have pulled out as title sponsors. We are still getting support but we need to find sponsors to still compete at the highest level.

“I cannot say there won’t be any impact but hopefully as things progress there will be more positive news.”

Workington MP Tony Cunningham pledged his backing. He said: “I’m a huge supporter of M-Sport. They are one of the leading companies in the area. I want to help them in whatever way I can.”

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