M-Sport has operated Ford's World Rally programme since 1997, growing in size and stature since it was originally formed in 1979 under the name of Malcolm Wilson Motorsport and based in premises alongside Wilson's house near Cockermouth in north-west England.
Following the career of Wilson as a driver, the company grew during the 1980s when the pace of expansion grew rapidly to mirror the success it was having throughout the world with the Ford Escort Cosworth. In 1994 it won national titles in Italy, Portugal, the Middle East and Britain, the latter with Wilson himself behind the wheel. Two years later the company claimed a superb third place on Rally Finland with Jarmo Kytolehto at the wheel of an Escort Cosworth and the world stage beckoned.
At the end of that season, Ford selected the team to take over the running of its WRC programme. Despite desperately little time to grow from a small company to one capable of running a two-car WRC programme, Malcolm Wilson Motorsport became M-Sport and the team won two rounds of the series and Ford finished runner-up in the Manufacturers' Championship. It built the all-new Ford Focus World Rally Car in 1998 to rally in 1999 and the model continues to win events around the globe.
Ford has finished runner-up in the Manufacturers' series on numerous occasions under M-Sport, but the highlight came in 2006 when the Blue Oval won the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time in 27 years. It was followed in 2007 by a second WRC title.
M-Sport also operates a thriving customer business for private teams. It assists Ford drivers with programmes world-wide involving the Focus RS WRC, the Ford Fiesta S2000, the Ford Fiesta R2, GpN Ford Fiesta ST, the Ford Fiesta R1 and, new for 2013, the all-new Ford Fiesta R5 as well as the ground-breaking Ford Fiesta RRC and RS WRC.