Stobart changes name, adds Østberg to line-up

The rebranded M-Sport Stobart Ford World Rally Team will begin its 2011 World Rally Championship effort with new-signing Mads Østberg and Henning Solberg the nominated points-scorers on Rally Sweden next month

The Stobart M-Sport Ford Rally Team has changed its name to the M-Sport Stobart Ford World Rally Team for the 2011 World Rally Championship (WRC) as it prepares to embark upon its sixth season in the series – and it will run with an all-Norwegian points-chasing line-up on the curtain-raising Rally Sweden next month.

New-signing Mads Østberg will join regular drivers Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson at the Malcolm Wilson-led operation, and he and Solberg are the two nominated points-scorers for the Karlstad-based event that begins on 11 February. All three drivers will be behind the wheel of the new Ford Fiesta RS WRC, with only Wilson not eligible to score in Sweden.

Østberg had initially planned to compete under the Adapta World Rally Team banner this year prior to agreeing terms to join forces with M-Sport and Stobart, and along with co-driver Jonas Andersson, the 23-year-old will have the opportunity to test the Fiesta ahead of the rally. Several Norwegian outings are also in the pipeline, as is a testing programme in a normally-aspirated Super 2000 version of the car.

“I'm really looking forward to this season, and to start on Rally Sweden is ideal,” enthused Østberg, who has never previously been nominated as a manufacturers' points-scorer. “Jonas is Swedish, and the country is my second homeland. We have our family summer house there, I did my first youth rally in Sweden, I won my first rally in Sweden, I did my first WRC rally in Sweden, I won my first special stage in the WRC in Sweden...

“What can be better than starting my Ford career, and my first rally as a nominated team driver, in Sweden? I am delighted to be a part of the M-Sport Stobart Ford World Rally Team, and very happy to have Henning and Matthew as our team-mates.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Matthew Wilson (GBR) Scott Martin (GBR), Ford Focus RS WRC 08, Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team
Matthew Wilson (GBR) Scott Martin (GBR), Ford Focus RS WRC 08, Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team
Henning Solberg (NOR) Ilka Minor (AUS), Ford Fiesta S2000, Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team
Henning Solberg (NOR), Ford Focus RS WRC 08, Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team
Mads Ostberg (NOR), Subaru Impreza WRC 08
Sebastien Ogier collects his WRC champion`s trophy at the FIA Prizegiving in Doha
Sebastien Ogier and VW celebrate at the FIA Prizegiving
Robert Kubica at the Monza Rally Show
Ford Olsbergs MSE celebrates winning the RX Teams` Championship
Liam Doran
Teams line up for FIA World Rallycross
Teams line up for FIA World Rallycross
Nasser Al-Attiyah - Mini ALL4 Racing
Jari Ketomaa (FIN) Kaj Lindstrom (FIN), Ford Fiesta R5, WRC2 winners

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Chris - Unregistered

January 12, 2011 3:55 PM

Pretty sure Stobart pay very little for the 'honour' of sponsoring Hapless. Henning will pay most/all of his costs as will Ostberg. M-Sport will cover Hapless and Stobart pay a nominal amount to give Hapless a little cover of credibility. If not Stobart are as thick as Malcolm continuing on this ridiculous quest to make Hapless anywhere near a top line driver. Interesting that after 70+ starts Malcolm still doesn't trusst Hapless enough to nominate him to score manufacturer points.

Taz - Unregistered

January 12, 2011 1:41 PM

It's Kimi's Evil/Good twin. Can't believe Matt & Henning got full programs...still should ensure some amusing posts on the WRC forum. There will be more Fiesta's than a Tesco's car park on SS1.

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