With just three days to prepare the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs for the Rally Italia Sardegna which begins tomorrow, the M-Sport Ford World Rally team had to deliver some serious speed at home in the workshop as well as needing to do the same out on the stages.

The fleet of Fiestas arrived back at M-Sport’s Dovenby Hall headquarters early last Wednesday and the technicians worked more than one late evening – with meticulous attention to detail – to get everything prepared on time.

Loading the cars into the transporters on Friday afternoon, the precious cargo is currently making its way to Genoa in North-west Italy.

From there, it’s an overnight ferry to Porto Torres followed by a short one-hour drive to Alghero where the Fiestas will be safely unloaded in the harbour-side service park.

The team may not have conducted a pre-event test ahead of this rally, but both Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen had the pace to challenge for the top results at the previous outing in Portugal.

Similarly hot and dusty conditions are expected this week and the team are confident of being able to deliver another strong performance.

Team principal Richard Millener said: “It’s been a pretty quick turnaround for the lads in the workshop.

“The cars arrived back on [last] Wednesday and there was more than one late night to ensure everything was ready to leave on Friday!

“But we have an excellent group of mechanics and they got the job done – fuelled by a few trips to the local pie shop.

“The Fiesta has a good track record in Sardinia. We won here with Ott [Tänak] in 2017, and Seb [Ogier] missed out on the victory by just 0.7 seconds last year. Elfyn and Teemu also have good experience here.

“They both know what it takes to deliver a strong performance and we’ll be pushing for another positive result.

“We had the pace to be on the podium in Portugal, so that has to be our goal again this week.

“And it would be nice to go into the summer break with some more silverware for the office!”