M-Sport eyeing further events after ‘Return’ success

Greystoke success could lead to more M-Sport-run events

2020 M Sport Rally21st – 22nd August 2020Photo: Drew Gibson

M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson is investigating the potential for running further rallies in the Greystoke forest following the success of Saturday’s M-Sport Back to Rally Stages.

Forest rallying in England has been ruled out until spring next year following Forestry Commission restrictions on the number of people gathering for any sort of event. M-Sport’s test venue is privately owned and sits outside of those rules.

“We could run more events, that’s something we’re looking at,” Wilson told DirtFish. “We’ve got the facility here and it’s a great forest.

“When you think about how much traffic was over the roads on Saturday, I thought the stages held up very well in far from ideal [wet] conditions.

“We need to think carefully about this, we don’t want to saturate the place with events.

“There are other options around in this part of the world. Definitely we’re going to be looking into what we can do. Running rallies is not what M-Sport’s about, but these are extraordinary times.”

Last week’s event was open only to cars built by M-Sport in the last 20 years. Wilson said he would consider opening the entry wider.

“It’s something to think about,” he added. “We definitely wouldn’t want to run more than 45 cars and with that in mind, I’m sure we could probably fill another entry from just M-Sport cars.

“The main thing is to get people out competing again. Saturday’s rally cost us money to put on, but we want to get people in their cars again.

“Look, there’s no point denying this: we need the business. We need people to be buying spares and parts – these are very, very difficult times for us and I’m not going to hide the fact that we need the customers to generate revenue; it’s the same for preparation firms up and down the country.”

Words:David Evans

Image:Drew Gibson/M-Sport