WALES, U.K. – M-Sport delivered the dream result at this weekend’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB – securing the FIA World Rally Championships for Drivers, Co-drivers and Manufacturers as well as the rally win.
As Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia clinched their fifth FIA World Rally Championship title, Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt secured an immensely popular maiden victory – a family team from the edge of the English Lake District succeeding against three of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers.
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“It’s been a very emotional day and I have to say that there were a few tears during the last stage – firstly when Ott crossed the line to take the manufacturers’ championship, then when Sébastien took the drivers’, and then again when Elfyn crossed the line to the win on our home event. It really was the Triple Crown, and a very emotional day for all of us.
“We have a great team of people and their hard work has resulted in something truly amazing. We’ve been on the podium at every event and we’re the only team to have had all three drivers secure a win this year. The Fiesta has proven itself to have the performance and the strength, and that is down to the tireless hours that every single member of the team has put into this incredible achievement.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to say a special thank you to Sébastien and Julien. When they joined the team at the start of the year, it really was the lift that everyone needed. They’ve had a really important influence on all of us, and all of us are extremely proud of what we have achieved together with them, Ott, Martin, Elfyn and Dan.”
Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt secured their maiden win in style this weekend. Claiming nine stage victories, the pairing dominated their home event and were in a class of their own through the tricky conditions.
As the first British pairing to win the event since Richard Burns and Robert Reid in 2000, Evans is also the very first Welsh driver to win the British round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Elfyn Evans (1st) said:
“I’m feeling pretty good, and just about managed to keep the tears away at the podium. It’s been a really long and difficult weekend, so this one feels good and it was made all the more special when you combine it with everything the team has achieved today.
“Already after Shakedown, we knew if the conditions played into our hands then the speed was there to challenge for the victory. As the weekend went on, I felt that it was always in my reach, but this is an event you can never predict. A clean run with no punctures, spins or mistakes is very difficult. It’s all about finding the right balance and I think that’s what we managed to achieve this weekend.
“I’m definitely hungry for more wins now, so let’s wait and see what next year has in store. Now that I have felt this feeling, it’s one that I would like to repeat!”
Sébastien Ogier (3rd) said:
“Emotion is something you cannot control. There is something beautiful about that and I have to say that this was the strongest feeling of emotion that I have ever experienced in my professional life. It’s hard to explain the feeling, but it is most definitely a good one.
“Twelve months ago, we decided to take what could have been considered a risk. We decided to team up with Malcolm and set ourselves a challenge. Today, we have succeeded in that challenge and know that we made the right choice.
“I felt immediately proud and very happy for the team. A drivers’ title is something that has never happened for them and it was so well deserved. What they are able to do is amazing. Really, a big thanks to all of them.”
Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja claimed sixth position at the end of Wales Rally GB, but had just as much reason to celebrate. Despite falling behind Thierry Neuville in the championship standings, the pairing have played an important role in the team’s championship success and were seen celebrating alongside their team in the podium celebrations.
Ott Tänak (6th) said:
“Our weekend might not have played out as we had been hoping, but crossing the line and securing the manufacturers’ championship for the team was something very special. Malcolm, and everyone in the team, have done such an incredible job this year and we’ve achieved huge success together. They really do deserve everything this weekend.”