M-Sport returns to Coates Hire Rally Australia marking a significant milestone in its illustrious history as the tenth round of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship is also its own 250th WRC event.

"I can't quite believe that we are already at our 250th event," M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson admitted, "It's a significant milestone for M-Sport and testament to the hard work and commitment of every single member of the team - both on the events and back in the workshop in Cumbria.

"Throughout those 250 events, we've enjoyed more than 200 podiums with various drivers, more than 50 victories and two World Rally Championship titles for Ford. Here's to another successful 250."

Given the relationship between team and event, there can be few better places to celebrate than at one of the former's most favoured hunting grounds. Nestled on the subcontinent's Gold Coast, the Australian round has played host to a number of M-Sport success stories, but will again provide a stern technical challenge for the crews if a repeat is to be achieved this weekend.

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Following the asphalt roads of Rallye Deutschland, the crews must reaffirm the art of gravel rallying, notably the nature of the road and the way the car handles through the loose terrain. Finding the right balance between speed and caution is key in Australia, with over-confidence and ambition on the pre-event reconnaissance likely to extract a high price.

M-Sport, however, has enjoyed previous visits 'down under', taking victory on three separate occasions with Mikko Hirvonen. The Finn has an abundance of experience in Australia and can boast an impressive podium-finish rate of 67 per cent on an event that provided him with his first WRC victory in 2006. Gaining confidence with every outing, the Ford Fiesta RS WRC driver is just one point shy of fourth place in the championship standings and will be looking to claim that position with a strong result this weekend.