Britain's Matthew Wilson gave M-Sport's new Ford Fiesta R5 its first public outing last weekend running as the course car on the 2013 edition of the Malcolm Wilson Rally in Cumbria.
Sporting the model's striking QR-code livery which will adorn the car throughout its development phase, the all-new Fiesta completed all seven stages and set, M-Sport said, some 'promising' times in the process.
M-Sport will now continue to develop the Fiesta R5 before its launch later this year and the next phase will see the car put through its paces on asphalt both in the UK and abroad.
“The car felt really good. Development is coming along nicely and the Ford Fiesta R5 looks set to be another extremely competitive model,” said Wilson, who was co-driven by Chris Patterson.
“Over the last few months we have done a lot of initial testing on gravel, now we just need to ensure that the car works just as well on asphalt. I'm heading down to Wales for a preliminary Tarmac test this week, and then the plan is to head to mainland Europe where we can perfect the car before an official launch later this year.”
Meanwhile, M-Sport managing director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, was also in action on the event and he had the privilege of debuting the Ford Fiesta S2400.
Designed for non-homologated series, the engine is 'ideal' for the Ford Fiesta S2000 – Wilson Sr competing in the chassis that won the Monte-Carlo Rally on its debut in 2010 – but can also be adapted for other models such as MkI and MkII Escorts.
Unfortunately however, Wilson Sr was forced to make an untimely retirement on SS3 and M-Sport's R&D team will continue development and testing before an official release to customers later this year.
“M-Sport is an exciting place to be at the moment with lots of new projects on the way. Early development for both the Ford Fiesta R5 and S2400 has been promising and it looks as though both models will be well worth the wait when they are officially released later this year,” Wilson Sr concluded.
“Now it's all about continuing with the development on both cars to ensure that we provide a package that matches up to our high standards and is capable of securing overall victories around the world.”