Cumbrian pair Wilson and Martin return to World Rally Championship action
Last updated at 12:12, Saturday, 18 August 2012
Cumbrian rally stars Matthew Wilson and Scott Martin will put a traumatic year behind them when they make a return to action to the World Rally Championship.
The pair have not competed since the opening round in Monte Carlo after injury and then a loss of sponsorship wrecked their 2012 campaign.
Wilson broke a leg and suffered a dislocated ankle and ligament damage in February when the Cockermouth driver slipped on ice while out on a training run in preparation for the Swedish Rally.
After battling back to fitness, he then lost sponsorship to compete in the remaining rounds of the championship.
But the pair will be back behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta RS WRC for Wales Rally GB, which starts on September 13.
Wilson and his Carlisle-based co-driver Martin will compete as part of the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team following backing from Invest in Cumbria, Britain’s Energy Coast Cumbria and In-Cumbria.
Their car, built and prepared at Ford team director Malcolm Wilson’s M-Sport headquarters at Dovenby Hall, near Cockermouth, will sport a brand-new livery which identifies their Cumbrian roots and highlights the county’s ever-growing commercial prowess.
Wilson said: “It will be fantastic to get back to the WRC. I have been waiting for this for a long time and to have my return on my home event is something very special.
“I am very proud of my Cumbrian roots and to have pretty much everything on this project from Cumbria is fantastic.
“Obviously both Scott and myself are Cumbrians born-and-bred, the car has been built here at M-Sport and to have the support of so many local organisations is very encouraging.
“We will have a lot of work to do in the lead-up to the event. I’ve not competed on any gravel rallies this year and we’ll need to work hard to be on the pace from the off. But I am really looking forward to getting back and hopefully we can achieve the same as last year and bring home a good result for the British fans.”
As the only British driver in the WRC, Wilson has a strong track-record at his home event with its fast and technical gravel stages making it a firm favourite among drivers and spectators.
Formerly known as the RAC Rally and first run in 1932, Wales Rally GB is one of the oldest rallies in the world and one of the UK’s most prestigious sporting events.
Wilson has never finished outside the top 10 on the five occasions he has competed in Wales.
Last year Wilson and Martin claimed fifth position as Ford cars occupied eight of the first nine places – an accomplishment never before achieved by a manufacturer in the WRC.
First published at 10:49, Saturday, 18 August 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk