M-Sport's Fiestas to run retro Delecour-inspired WRC livery in 2020

Jack Benyon
M-Sport Fiestas to run in retro livery in 2020
M-Sport Fiestas to run in retro livery in 2020

The M-Sport Ford World Rally Team has unveiled a retro-inspired livery for its World Rally Championship-contending Ford Fiesta WRC at Autosport International.

M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson said the livery, which in 2020 features a white and blue scheme instead of the predominantly blue and silver colours of last year, is inspired by the early '90s Ford World Rally Cars.

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He cited the livery used during the 1993 season, when Francois Delecour narrowly missed out on the championship in a manufacturer-run Ford Escort RS Cosworth to four-time title winner Juha Kankkunen.

M-Sport Fiestas to run in retro livery in 2020
M-Sport Fiestas to run in retro livery in 2020

The livery also featured in 1994 when Delecour won the Monte Carlo Rally, though he suffered extensive injuries in a road accident while driving a friend's Ferrari F40 soon after.

That ruled him out for the rest of the season, and the only other success that year came when a young Tommi Makinen claimed his first WRC win in a one-off outing on his home rally in Finland.

Speaking on the Autosport stage at Autosport International, Wilson said: "the theme of it from our designer came from Francois Delecour's car, from [1993] when he nearly won the world championship, a lot of the base of the livery came from that car."

The 2020 livery also features more prominent sponsorship from Castrol.

M-Sport Fiestas to run in retro livery in 2020
M-Sport Fiestas to run in retro livery in 2020

Team principal Richard Millener added: "We wanted to try and look back a little bit at some of the liveries of the past, but at the same time try and have a bit of a modern feel to it and we have a very good designer internally who came up with it.

"It's a bit of a mix of everything.

"It's a fresh change, we've had quite similar colours for a couple of years so its something completely different, new team, new start and go from there."

M-Sport has already announced its 2020 driver line-up, with ex-Toyota and Citroen driver Esapekka Lappi signed to lead the charge alongside Teemu Suninen and a part-programme for Gus Greensmith.

Wilson believes an engine upgrade for the fourth round of the series should have the Fiesta challenging for victories again after a winless year in 2019.

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