M-Sport Stobart race for more top five finishes
Last updated at 23:40, Thursday, 28 July 2011
The M-Sport Stobart Ford World Rally Team are looking to continue their record-breaking stint of top five finishes in the FIA World Rally Championship by targeting another top result at Rally Finland this weekend.
The first half of the WRC season got off to a dream start for the Dovenby-based squad as Mads Østberg finished runner-up on his debut in the Ford Fiesta RS WRC – the team’s best ever result.
West Cumbria’s Matthew Wilson has proved his ability behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta RS WRC with two top five results already under his belt this season.
The 24-year-old has been spending the summer break working on his fitness whilst also testing M-Sport’s new Ford Fiesta Regional Rally Car (RRC) - both in Cumbria and in Poland.
Wilson and co-driver Scott Martin will be looking to further benefit from a test they have planned in the Ford Fiesta RS WRC over the weekend.
Norway’s Henning Solberg spent the summer working with sponsors but also joined the voice cast of Disney Pixar’s Cars 2 movie alongside brother Petter Solberg. After a difficult start to the 2011 season, Solberg and co-driver Ilka Minor finished fifth in Greece and Solberg is now only four points behind Kimi Räikkönen in the WRC drivers’ standings.
Wilson said earlier this week: “Finland is definitely one of my favourite rallies and it’s known as the “Finnish Grand Prix” for a good reason as the spectators and atmosphere is just incredible.
“I’m also happy we’re doing a small test before this rally – it always helps to have some time in the car before the rally starts, especially in Finland as it is such a technical event and the speeds are so high.
“I’ve been there six times before so I’m in a better position than some of the other drivers – I definitely think Finland is a rally where experience really matters.
“The new stages this year will be an added difficulty but it’ll help shake things up a bit and I think it’s a good idea that the organisers add a few new stages as it helps to make it a fairer rally for everyone competing.”
Østberg said: “I think Finland could be a good opportunity for us and we really want a good result at this event – both for the championship and for our sponsors.”
Solberg said: “I’m feeling really positive after a good result in Greece and I’m looking forward to getting back to the WRC.
“Finland is one of the oldest events on the calendar and one of my favourite rallies. It’s got some of the fastest stages of the year and you need to be brave if you want to succeed but it’s not all about going flat-out, there’s some very technical sections too.”
First published at 19:21, Thursday, 28 July 2011
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk