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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

NGK-sponsored M-Sport Ford shows speed in Sweden


Date: 06-Mar-2019

NGK-sponsored M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC showed winning pace at the Rally Sweden – claiming five stage wins and challenging for victory on the second round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Teemu Suninen delivered an incredible performance through the opening stages. Leading the field for the first time in his career, the young Finn was consistently quick and at one stage held a slender lead over M-Sport’s former protégé and eventual winner Ott Tänak before he became a victim of the snowbanks. 

A second dice with the snowbanks then ended with a high-speed impact which brought M-Sport’s world-class technicians to the fore – replacing part of the roll cage in less than three hours to see their latest star back out on the stages.

Team-mate Elfyn Evans was left ruing an early spin on Friday morning which cost him close to half a minute. Regrouping with three fastest stage times, the Welshman pushed hard but had to settle for fifth place – albeit just 10 seconds shy of the podium.

Team Principal Richard Millener said: “It wasn’t the result we wanted, but it’s definitely been a positive weekend. The whole team has been working extremely hard on the development of this car, and it’s great to see that hard work paying off with stage-winning, and rally-winning, pace here in Sweden.

“We’ve witnessed a real coming-of-age performance from Teemu – leading a WRC rally for the very first time and proving that he has the speed to challenge for the top results. Yes, he made some mistakes, but that’s part of the game when you’re learning how to push at this level, and I was impressed to see how quickly he got back up to speed.

“Elfyn also had the speed this weekend with three fastest stage times, and he will be kicking himself about that spin on Friday morning! Were it not for that he could have secured quite a comfortable podium.”

Ignition specialist NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd is a partner of the team, whose EcoBoost-powered WRC Ford Fiestas are fitted with NGK spark plugs and NTK Lambda sensors.

Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “It was a very exciting rally and a promising performance from the M-Sport drivers. I’m sure the team will be fighting hard to make the podium over the upcoming rounds of the championship.”

The next round of the WRC gets underway in Mexico on March 7.

For more information about NGK and its products and services, please visit www.ngkntk.com 

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