He’s the man responsible for almost 1000 rally wins around the world with the Ford Fiesta R5. He’s the man who made Sébastien Ogier’s car for world championship titles five and six. He’s the man who has made Ford and M-Sport’s future in the World Rally Championship.
He is Chris Williams. And, as of Saturday morning, January 1 2022, he’s the man known as M-Sport technical director.
Formerly head of rally engineering, Williams starts the new season with a new job in charge of everything technical behind the doors at the team’s Dovenby Hall base.
With the British team for the last 25 years, Williams first went single-handed on designing a new Group N Ford Fiesta in 2005. In transforming a road-going ST150 for the stage, Williams created what, for many, remains the go-to entry level rally car. He progressed rapidly, developing the Fiesta R2 four years later before working on his first four-wheel-drive Fiesta, the R5, in 2013. To date, that car has captured 956 wins.
A 2015 upgrade to the Ford Fiesta RS WRC marked Williams’ move to the top tier, with his – to date – crowning glory coming two years later with a Ford Fiesta WRC that swept the board and won all three world championship titles in its debut 2017 season.
“I’d like to extend a big thank you to Malcolm for his continued faith in me and for the many opportunities to lead projects over the years, from my first car project, the Fiesta ST Group N, all the way to the present day and the Puma Hybrid Rally1,” said Williams.
“It’s a privilege to be given the opportunity to lead the technical team as a whole, particularly at a time that will see such significant change in the sport we love.
“We have a small team of innovative, committed and determined engineers and designers and I’m honored to help, guide and support them to produce cars that compete and win at the highest levels of motorsport.”
M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson added: “Chris has been responsible for many successful projects at M-Sport and without his commitment and determination we wouldn’t be in the position we are today.
“With his proven track record of competition cars it makes sense that he moves to the role of technical director and overseeing all engineering aspects of the business.
“I look forward to not only seeing the Puma Rally1 Hybrid make its debut in Monte Carlo where I am sure it will perform as we expect, but also what other projects Chris and his team will develop to take M-Sport forward into the future.”