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Full report: Malcolm Wilson receives Fellowship

Former British Rally Champion Malcolm Wilson has picked up another major title in Carlisle.

The managing director of M-Sport, who run Ford's World Rally activities, has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the University of Cumbria.

It recognises his outstanding contribution to motorsport and Cumbrian business.

Kim Inglis reports:

M-Sport boss to receive Honorary Fellowship

M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson Credit: PA

The managing director of Cumbrian based motorsport firm M-Sport is to receive an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Cumbria.

Former British Rally Champion Malcolm Wilson is to receive his fellowship for his "outstanding contribution" to the industry.

M-Sport run their rally company from their Dovenby Hall complex in Cockermouth, and are one of west Cumbria's largest employers.

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Qatar announced as new title sponsor

The future of the M-Sport world rally team, based in Cockermouth, has been secured thanks to a sponsorship deal with the State of Qatar.

The company was left shocked in October, when Ford announced it would be retiring from world rallying at the end of the year.

It was worrying times for the firm and its employees, who had run the Ford world rally team since 1997.

However, a deal has been secured with Qatar, meaning three cars will compete in the 2013 World Rally Championship.

Marti Errington-Dodds has the full report:

37th Malcolm Wilson Rally under way in Cumbria

A car from the rally last year Credit: M-Sport

Thousands of spectators are expected to gather in key locations to watch more than 100 the cars roar around some of Cumbria's forest trails.

The rally covers 45 miles including forest tracks, over seven stages spread around the county.

The route has been tweaked a little this year to provide the maximum challenge with the single usage of Forestry Commission roads & the longest stages available.

The 2012 event starts and finishes in Cockermouth, the first car leaving at 08.25

During the event a number of rights of way will be closed. The Forestry Commission will close paths, cycle routes and open access land around the rally routes. Closed paths and tracks will be clearly marked. Malcolm Wilson, the boss of M-sport, the team said:

''The rally is a great opportunity to showcase what this area has to offer to the thousands of visitors that come to watch and to the competitors and their crews. The rally generates a huge amount of income for the area and is the perfect showcase for our beautiful landscape.''

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