M-Sport completes first test with 2022 Rally1 car

The next generation Ford took to the forests, and with some success according to the team


M-Sport Ford World Rally Team has completed initial running of its 2022 Rally1 car.

After necessary systems checks last week with what DirtFish believes to be a Fiesta test mule, the focus switched to Greystoke forest – the British team’s permanent test site – on Tuesday morning.

M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson was pleased with the car’s early progress.

“It’s very early days still, it’s the rollout test really, but it’s going well,” Wilson told DirtFish.

“We’d always aimed to have it in the woods this week, so to be there absolutely on time is great for the team and a real demonstration of the effort everybody has put in.”

Questioned on the early performance of the car, Wilson replied: “It must be good. I’ve just had Matthew [Wilson] on the phone telling me I’ve got to come up and have a look. His words were: ‘Very impressive’.”

The 2022 regulations – as well as providing hybrid power for the first time in the history of the World Rally Championship – also take rallying’s top flight back to a five-speed gearbox and removes the active center differential. The car was running the team’s all-new transmission system for next season.

“The car is completely new from the current Fiesta WRC,” said Wilson.

“Obviously, the base engine remains from this year, but apart from that there’s no carry over. It’s all new suspension, new geometry, electronics – everything.

“That’s why it’s important to get some early testing done and get as many miles down as possible, just so we can see where we are with everything. I’m really pleased and looking forward to seeing it for myself.”

DirtFish understands the car completed close to 250 miles in its first two days on the dirt.

Words:David Evans

Photos:M-Sport World Rally Team