M-Sport on course for strong performance at Tour de Corse
Written by M-Sport    Monday, 03 April 2017 07:17   
M-Sport’s fleet of Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiestas will don their asphalt trim this week as the FIA World Rally Championship ventures to the fourth round of the season at the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse.
Getting the crews comfortable and confident on another new surface, the team completed a comprehensive five-day test in Corsica last week. Specifically targeting set-up, the three crews covered more than 1,200 kilometres with particular attention to damper set-up and event-specific configurations.
Fully prepared, the team are focused on securing another strong result at an event which holds special significance.
Working alongside the FFSA, M-Sport continues to strengthen a successful ladder of opportunity which offers a route from grass-root to top-level rallying.
This year’s Tour de Course will showcase every rung on this highly effective ladder with the Ford Fiesta R2 National, Ford Fiesta R2, Ford Fiesta R5 and Ford Fiesta WRC all on the entry list and all striving to achieve the same ultimate goal – an FIA World Rally Championship laurel.
Known as the rally of 10,000 corners, the Tour de Corse provides a solid test of endurance, focus and adaptability.
As the first pure-asphalt event on the calendar, the Corsican fixture has an individuality which sets it apart from all other events. Endurance stages are framed by beautiful landscapes which have dubbed the island as the ‘Ile de Beauté,’ but the picturesque scenery masks a daunting challenge.
The tight and twisty roads demand respect – often bordered by sharp rock faces on one side, and steep drops into the sea on the other. The abrasive asphalt also places high demands on tyres and the strategists will have to be on top-form as they go head-to-head with the island’s unpredictable forecasts.
For the crews themselves, focus is key with the co-drivers having to deliver more pacenotes than at any other event. Driver, co-driver, team and car must all work in complete synchronicity should they want to challenge for the top results, and the smallest of mistakes rarely go unpunished.
With M-Sport leading both the driver and manufacturer standings, Team Principal Malcolm Wilson is keen to see the team’s strong showing continue throughout the field.
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“We’ve had a fantastic start to the season and it’s great to see such a wide range of M-Sport products in competition at next week’s Tour de Corse. We’ve worked extremely hard to produce an effective ladder of opportunity for rallying’s future stars and it’s rewarding to see so many levels of that initiative in competition next week. 
“I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on the whole field and I think we have the potential to deliver some strong results throughout all of the classes.
“In the main field, the team are feeling optimistic about the challenges ahead. When the Ford Fiesta WRC was last in asphalt trim at Rallye Monte-Carlo, all three cars secured stage victories and we have further developed the car and set-up since then. 
“We certainly have the potential to deliver another strong performance and that has to be our aim. But we’re under no illusions. We know how challenging this event can be and a strong result won’t come without the continued hard work from every single member of the team.”

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