M-Sport cars claimed victory in two of the world’s premier rally championships this weekend with Ford World Rally Team’s Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila securing victory at Wales Rally GB as part of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) and Castrol Ford Team Türkiye’s Yağız Avcı and Bahadır Gücenmez winning the Prime Yalta Rally within the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) – both behind the wheel of M-Sport built Fiestas.
Latvala’s win at Wales Rally GB this weekend was the pinnacle of the company’s success with six M-Sport prepared Ford Fiesta’s occupying the first nine places. M-Sport’s privateer teams also proved their worth as well as the competitiveness of the Ford Fiesta RS WRC with all of the fastest split times from SS7 taken by M-Sport customers – Martin Prokop taking the fastest time over the opening split, Ott Tänak the second, Mads Østberg the third and fourth and Evgeny Novikov the fifth.
Østberg also secured the stage win on SS7 with Tänak just 0.5 seconds adrift of victory on SS10 and Novikov an agonising 0.1 seconds from victory on SS11. All in all, the Fiesta clinched 14 of the 19 stage wins.
M-Sport cars also claimed two spots of the podium in the S-WRC with Craig Breen putting in a sterling performance behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta S2000 to claim an emotional victory by more than two and a half minutes. Yazeed Al Rajhi recovered well to secure the final podium position with his Ford Fiesta RRC.
In the IRC, M-Sport cars occupied all three podium places on the first day of competition with
Local driver Yuriy Protasov’s Ford Fiesta RRC leading from the Fiesta S2000’s of Mikko Pajunen and Avcı.
Come the end of the event, the Fiesta had claimed eight of the 14 stage wins with Avci taking a dominant victory by more than three minutes.
Wales Rally GB victor, Jari-Matti Latvala said:
“This win means a lot to me. Rally GB is like a second home event because I started my career here 10 years ago, and I have more experience of this event than my own rally in Finland. It’s one of my favourite rounds and this is the first time in my career that I have won the same rally in consecutive seasons.
“The team has done so much work since then and it paid off here, so this win is for everyone in the team.”
Prime Yalta Rally victor, Yağız Avcı said:
“The roads were like a minefield!.. The stages were very long and rough and it was really very difficult to protect your car while keeping a good pace. I am very happy that we managed to win this rally.”
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