Cumbrian based M-Sport Ford World Rally Team have reported a positive first test of its new for 2022 hybrid Rally1 machine.
Next year marks the start of a new era in the FIA World Rally Championship, with new hybrid rules that will combine an electrical motor and a more traditional combustion engine to power the top-tier cars.
Following the commitment from all three manufacturer teams to compete in the series from 2022-2024, M-Sport Ford have completed a systems test on its new car on both asphalt and gravel surfaces, with former WRC driver Matthew Wilson reporting initial feedback to be ‘very impressive’.
Speaking to WRC.com, M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson said: “We’d always aimed to have it in the woods that week, so to be there absolutely on time is great for the team and a real demonstration of the effort everybody has put in. The car is completely new from the current Fiesta WRC,”
“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.”
M-Sport are the first of the manufacturer teams to announce their new car has been tested, but Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team recently confirmed their 2022 challenger will be based on the new i20 N road car which has recently been released.
Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team and M-Sport Ford have yet to confirm officially what model their entries are based on, but it is expected that Ford will remain with the Fiesta, with Toyota using the new shape Yaris that is available in GR road spec.