Hand in hand for an assault on the Dakar

M-Sport is delighted to announce its latest motorsport development, which is being done through a joint venture with renowned rally raid car manufacturer, Neil Woolridge Motorsport (NWM).

Neil Woolridge, Owner of NWM, said: “This is a historic moment for NWM and a proud moment for me personally. I’ve always looked up to Malcolm from afar and M-Sport is a team I’ve always wanted to work with for a variety of reasons. Our Ranger T1+ is a vehicle with which we look forward to developing and building a strong customer lineup, which M-Sport has demonstrated it can create and strengthen. Our Ranger T1+ is built on the reliable and proven foundation of our previous generation Ranger and as such puts our new vehicle at an excellent starting level of performance against the competition. Therefore, we can use the South African Rally Raid Championship as a test bed for our vehicle directly against our competitors, giving us the confidence to take our vehicle to the world stage.

NWM is a world-renowned Rally Raid manufacturer based in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and like M-Sport, has a long and storied association with Ford along with M-Sport and NWM, celebrating 25 years of working with the iconic oval blue in 2022.

The joint venture sees M-Sport become the European headquarters of NWM and the global distributor of the NWM Ford Ranger T1+ vehicle. M-Sport’s partnership with NWM allows both brands to share technical capabilities and resources that have both been built over 25 uninterrupted years of working directly with Ford.

As the goal of a Dakar assault looms, years of hard work and development lie ahead, including developing the right infrastructure. The first step in the partnership between M-Sport and NWM is for M-Sport to launch a customer support program based at M-Sport’s headquarters in Dovenby, Cumbria.

In addition to customer support, M-Sport will work with NWM on the development of the NWM Ford Ranger T1+, testing and collecting feedback from all customer programs. The first NWM Ford Ranger T1+ is expected to arrive in Europe at the end of May and will be available for testing and customer program shortly thereafter.

Matthew Wilson, M-Sport Director and Development Driver, said: “I have no previous experience of driving or operating a T1+ vehicle, but the first impression has been really good which is very important because we have a good base to go from. We believe that through this collaboration we will be able to continue the development program of the vehicle together with Neil and his team.” Malcolm Wilson OBE, Managing Director of M- Sport said: “Matthew and I recently traveled to South Africa to meet Neil Woolridge and his sons and discuss their Ford Ranger T1+. This is a momentous and exciting prospect for me, after nearly 45 years in the world of rallying, rally raiding and the Dakar have always piqued my curiosity, yet it is a discipline that I do not underestimate and I am well aware that it requires years of experience and expertise.

“M-Sport and NWM have a common vision. We believe that our respective outfits complement each other in a way that would create an unparalleled rally raid outfit. The NWM Ranger has definite potential. It is built on a very solid base. Matthew tested the car during our visit and was very positive about his experience. It’s fair to say that I’m not one to shy away from a challenge. That’s what I love about motorsport and it’s no secret that we have work to do to compete in the prestigious Dakar Rally. That said, I’m confident that M-Sport and NWM have the tools and the know-how to push the Ford Ranger T1+ to new heights.

Source: Quick Pic

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