M-Sport to return to action with filming day

Fiesta WRCs will be used in collaboration with UK governing body

M-Sport Ford

M-Sport will run a Ford Fiesta WRC for the first time since the FIA’s testing ban was lifted last month as part of a filming day for Motorsport UK, as the governing body looks to set out guidance for the return of rallying in the United Kingdom.

DirtFish has learned that a private filming day is being conducted within the next fortnight by MSUK in Greystoke, which is located in the same Cumbria region as M-Sport’s Dovenby Hall headquarters.

MSUK is conducting the filming day to further illustrate guidance issued in May regarding how rallies can be organized safely amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

M-Sport will supply a current World Rally Car and driver for the filming day, with Matthew Wilson – a former WRC driver and son of team boss Malcolm – most likely to be at the wheel rather than any of the team’s current WRC entry.

While rival WRC teams Hyundai and Toyota have been busy with running in Finland, M-Sport has yet to conduct any test days with its WRC-spec Fiestas since the FIA-enforced ban on testing ended on June 1.

That makes its filming day with Motorsport UK the first time a factory-run M-Sport Fiesta WRC has been in action since Rally Mexico.

The filming day will be used to illustrate how rally organizers and participants should operate in line with MSUK’s “Getting back on track” document, which covers a wide variety of adjustments to operating procedures.

The most controversial of those changes was a ban on co-drivers, theoretically making all but single-venue time trial events impossible to run.

Those time trial events are widely expected to be the only rally-style events taking place on British shores until a change in MSUK’s guidance is issued.

Changes to how time controls are operated, how scrutineering and admin checks are conducted, and how marshals and medical staff will operate while out on stages are among the topics being covered in a series of video explainers outlining the new procedures.

A fixed date for the release of MSUK’s video guidance is not known at present.

Words:Alasdair Lindsay

Photography:André Lavadinho