M-Sport and Ford created history today by becoming the first manufacturer to secure 200 consecutive point-scoring finishes in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
The first points finish in the record-breaking run came at Rallye Monte-Carlo in 2002 when Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae brought the Ford Focus RS WRCs home in third and fourth places respectively.
Thanks to a podium finish from Mads Østberg and four additional championship points for Éric Camilli at this weekend’s Rally Mexico, the record now stands at an impressive 200 and counting.
Seventeen crews have contributed to the record and in that time, the team has racked up a number of impressive statistics including two WRC manufacturer titles, 41 wins, 154 podiums and 889 stage victories.
Since M-Sport began their collaboration with Ford in 1997, the manufacturer team has secured a total of 51 WRC wins, 203 podiums and 1171 stage victories.
M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“This is a huge achievement for Ford and M-Sport, and one that we are all immensely proud of. Winning rallies is largely down to the drivers, but finishing rallies is down to the team and this achievement is a reflection on the dedication, commitment and technical expertise of the entire team.
“When we first started this run of points finishes there was no Rally 2 regulation which I think makes it all the more impressive. Of course we’ve had a few near misses over the years when we nearly lost the record, but the team has managed to maintain it through dedicated work and some truly exceptional performances.
“One day, this record will come to an end, but we’ve given our rivals an extremely hard target to chase. I’m confident that it will be very difficult for another other manufacturer to beat this and I need to thank the whole team we have at M-Sport – without them, this would not have been possible.”
Senior Manager, Ford Performance, Ford of Europe, Gerard Quinn, said:
“A run of 200 consecutive points-scoring finishes in the WRC is a huge achievement – and something that will not be matched for some time.
“This record began at Rally Monte-Carlo in 2002 and the success has seen Ford and our rally partners M-Sport earn points on every WRC event since that time – a truly remarkable achievement.
“It clearly demonstrates our continued commitment to democratising our performance technology which enables all Ford drivers to achieve success in rally – one of the world’s most challenging motor racing series.
“This milestone also recognises the dedication and commitment of all those who have contributed to our record-breaking achievement. Here’s to the next 200!”
1 The first rally in the scoring run was the 2002 Rallye Monte-Carlo when Carlos Sainz and Luis Moya finished third and Colin McRae and Nicky Grist were fourth. Both were behind the wheel of a Ford Focus RS WRC.
6 Victories at Rally Sweden makes the Scandinavian classic our more successful event.
8 Ford Fiesta RS WRCs finished in the top 10 at the 2011 edition of Wales Rally GB.
14 Consecutive podiums for the official Ford team between 2006 Rally d’Italia Sardegna and 2007 Rally Mexico, and again from 2007 Rally Argentina to 2008 Rally Mexico.
17 Drivers contributed to the record. They are Mikko Hirvonen (95 points finishes), Jari-Matti Latvala (56), Marcus Grönholm (29), Markko Märtin (28), Elfyn Evans (22), François Duval (19), Mads Østberg (15), Toni Gardemeister (13), Ott Tänak (12), Petter Solberg (11), Evgeny Novikov (11), Roman Kresta (10), Carlos Sainz (9), Colin McRae (9), Janne Tuohino (2), Henning Solberg (1) and Éric Camilli (1).
18 Countries in which Ford has won.
23 Countries in which Ford has scored points.
20 The percentage of rallies Ford has won during the 200 events.
41 Wins since Rallye Monte-Carlo 2002.
50 The 50th consecutive finish came at the 2005 Cyprus Rally when Toni Gardemeister and Jakke Honkanen finished fifth, one place ahead of Roman Kresta and Jan Možný.
75 Rally New Zealand in 2006 marked not only the 75th consecutive finish, but it was also the rally in which Ford clinched the manufacturers’ world title for the first time in 27 years.
154 Podiums achieved since Rallye Monte-Carlo 2002.
100 The centenary was reached at the 2008 Rally of Turkey when Ford claimed a 1-2 finish with Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen winning ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila.
150 The 150th consecutive points finish came at Rally Argentina in 2012. Standing in for an injured Jari-Matti Latvala, Dani Sordo and Carlos Del Barrio were on course to secure a podium on their debut with the Ford Fiesta RS WRC before being forced to retire on the final stage. Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson maintained the record by bringing their Fiesta home in sixth place overall.
889 Stage wins since Rallye Monte-Carlo 2002.
2,811 Points scored in the manufacturers’ championship since Rallye Monte-Carlo 2002.
10,796 The number of snapchats sent by the M-Sport mechanics sent up to and including the 200th points score.
49,856 The number of eggs Mick the Chef fried from 2002 Rallye Monte-Carlo to 2015 Wales Rally GB.
974,118 Cups of teas consumed in the M-Sport hospitality area.
1,050,575 Air miles travelled by Team Principal Malcolm Wilson OBE since Rallye Monte-Carlo 2002.