Former WRC regular Matthew Wilson gave the Ford Fiesta R5+ a winning debut on the Coppermines Grizedale Stages in the United Kingdom last weekend, securing the victory by almost a minute.

Based on the standard Ford Fiesta R5 which launched earlier this year, the Fiesta R5+ incorporates a modified turbo and air-intake system. The standard 32mm restrictor has also been replaced with a 34mm example which provides the engine with an extra 30hp. Not homologated for FIA championships, the Fiesta R5+ is intended for national series.

"It's been a while since Chris [Patterson, my co-driver] and I have used organisers pacenotes, so it took a while to get back into the swing of things. But once we found our rhythm we really got a feeling for the car and how much performance it can produce," said Wilson. "We all know how competitive the standard Fiesta R5 is, and this upgrade just adds to that. It's a great package for national events."

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Fellow countryman Elfyn Evans meanwhile was also in action on the Grizedale Stages driving the new Ford Fiesta R200 and acting as course car with M-Sport's customer liaison manager, Richard Millener, in the co-driver's seat.

Had the pairing contested the rally proper, they would have placed an impressive fifth overall - ahead of a number of world rally specification cars and just 21 seconds adrift of the podium.

As with the Fiesta R5+, the Fiesta R200 is not FIA homologated and is thus intended for national championships. Based on the standard Ford Fiesta R2, which has achieved global success since its launch in 2009, the R200 variant comes complete with a modified induction system which allows the engine an added 30hp.

"It was great to be out on the stages again last weekend, and I was impressed with the extra power the Fiesta R200 provides," Evans noted. "I spent a lot of years competing with the Fiesta R2, and this is a great upgrade - you can really feel the power increase. We were able to set some really strong times, and I think we've proved how good the car can be on national rallies."

Both cars will now be officially launched at the Autosport Show in the UK in January, after which they will be available for sale from M-Sport.