Europe’s top trailer maker is helping to provide the driving force behind one of the world’s leading motorsport teams.
Ifor Williams Trailers has supplied two of its versatile Transporta trailers to Cumbria-based M-Sport which has a string of international titles and rally wins to its credit, including three FIA World Rally Championship Manufacturer’s titles.
M-Sport has prepared and run the official Ford World Rally Team cars in the World Rally Championship since 1996 and also looks after Bentley Motorsport outfit in the Blancpain Endurance Series.
The Ford team has two hugely successful drivers in its stable including world champion Sebastian Ogier and the flying Welshman, Elfyn Evans, who has given the thumbs up to the effectiveness of the North Wales-built trailers.
M-Sport turned to Ifor Williams Trailers when it was looking for trailers strong and reliable enough to travel thousands of miles a year with its 25-strong test team as they prepare the way for the main rally contingents.
The company’s business development manager Andrew Wheatley says that although they’ve only been in service with the team for a couple of months the Transportas have already proven their worth carrying rally cars and equipment to a host of challenging locations like the arctic circle of Sweden.
M-Sport, which operates from an historic manor house in Cockermouth and also has a base in Poland, was founded by Malcolm Wilson who has more than 40 years' experience at rallying's highest level, much of it with Ford.
As a driver he won two British national titles in the late 1970s and achieved a long-held ambition by winning the British international crown in 1994 - all at the wheel of the Ford Escort.
He drove for three factory teams in the World Rally Championship and spent several years as Ford's chief test driver.
A major part of M-Sport’s business is the package it provides for Ford Motor Company in the World Rally Championship with its two drivers, Elfyn Evans and Frenchman Sébastien Ogier.
The company’s highest level involvement is with the World Rally Championship which includes a series of rallies on four continents, starting with the iconic Monte Carlo event in January, ending in Australia in November and including the Wales Rally GB in October.
M-Sport’s Andrew Wheatley said: “We send out a team of 75 to events across the world and last year took the manufacturers' World Rally championship title for the third time and Sébastien Ogier became the Driver’s Champion.
“A few weeks before each rally our test team goes out to prepare the way for the main team, so we needed two trailers for them to use – one to carry the rally car and the other loaded with parts and equipment, which is mainly body protection items such as sump guards, and tyres.
“We looked at various trailers on the market and Ifor Williams Trailers came to us with their new product, the Transporta. It’s adaptable, reliable and does exactly the job we needed the two trailers to do for us.”
Andrew added: “The test team and their vehicles work very hard and virtually never stop. So far this year they’ve been to 10 countries including south of France, the arctic circle of Sweden, northern Spain, Portugal and Corsica.
“The two Ifor Williams Transportas, which are towed behind a couple of 28-tonne trucks, have had to deal with everything from forest tracks and mountain roads to small lanes in France, which they’ve done very well.
“They’ve been perfect for what we need and have proven their worth time and time again.
“Apart from being the strongest for the application we needed them for the Transportas also have very good internal volume, not just for carrying a large amount of equipment but also for being able to comfortably accommodate a rally car which is 220 mms wider than a standard car.
“The trailers have been doing a fantastic job for us and we’re really pleased with them.”
Rally ace Elfyn Evans is convinced of the value of the two Ifor Williams Transportas to his back-up team.
He said: “It’s important to have a practical and reliable base to work from during testing, and Ifor Williams trailers provides exactly that – ensuring we’re as prepared as we can be for the upcoming events.
“And it’s great to see a Welsh brand travelling the globe with us – helping us deliver results the world over.”
Andrew Reece-Jones, the Design Engineering Manager at Ifor Williams Trailers, said: “I am delighted that M-Sport are so pleased with their Transportas which hopefully will help them on the road to even more success.
“The Transportas are proving extremely popular with a whole range of customers because of its versatility and reliability.”
News » Europe’s top trailer maker helps ace rally team power to victory across the globe