Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Team Principal Malcolm Wilson made a rare appearance at the event that bears his name over the course of the weekend, carrying a special guest co-driver onboard for the Malcolm Wilson Rally.
Wilson was joined in his Mk2 Ford Escort by the Stobart Group CEO Andrew Tinkler as the pair ran ahead of the main competitors in the second round of the BTRDA Series.
Wilson's two-wheel drive car was last seen in action on the Roger Albert Clark Rally last year, when he took victory alongside John Millington, and the Ford team boss was pleased to get the chance to be involved in the event thanks to the fact that there were no clashing WRC commitments.
''It is a real pleasure to be able to be part of the Malcolm Wilson Rally this year,” he said. “I thoroughly enjoy the sport at this level and there was fantastic banter between Paul Bird and Steve Perez at the head of the field but I must say a big well done to Steve on his victory. It was also a strong start to the Fiesta Sport Trophy and some great coverage for Steve and his Kick Energy brand. We, at M-Sport, have an excellent relationship with Stobart and it was only fitting that Andrew should join me in the car today for some fun on these great stages.''
Stobart Group chief Tinkler is a familiar face at WRC events thanks to the sponsorship deal in place with Ford's M2 team but he admitted it was different experience to get the chance to see the stages from inside the car.
''When Malcolm gave me the chance to team up with him for this event it was an offer I could not refuse,” he said. “M-Sport have done a fantastic job preparing the Stobart team cars over the past few seasons and it is great to be involved in such a thrilling sport. There were a few places he was really pushing hard today and he definitely hasn't lost his touch. Hopefully Matthew will keep up the family tradition and have a good run in Cyprus this weekend.''