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M-Sport boss gives first interview since re-signing Sébastien Ogier

It's been an extraordinary season for M-Sport at Dovenby near Cockermouth. On October 29 at the Wales Rally GB, the company won FIA World Rally Championships for Drivers, Co-drivers and Manufacturers, as well as the rally itself.

In his first television interview since re-signing the world rally champion driver Sébastien Ogier, the boss of M-Sport, Malcolm Wilson tells ITV Border about his plans for the future.

Watch the full report tonight on Lookaround at 6.00pm.

Thousands turn out for Malcolm Wilson Rally

Credit: ITV Border

Thousands of people have turned out to spectate at this year's Malcolm Wilson Rally.

The event, which is based in Cockermouth, is now in its 41st year and has attracted competitors from all over the UK.

Credit: ITV Border
Credit: ITV Border

More than 100 rally crews are currently out in the forests around Grizedale and Greystoke, battling it out over 43 stage miles.

Event sponsors Msport have teamed up with social media campaign #NotJustLakes in a bid to encourage more people to visit Cumbria after the recent floods.

"We're thrilled that we have this partnership with MSport and it's been great to see our hashtag on every single car. We want to shout loud that Cumbria is open for business.

"So many businesses were affected by the flooding and a lot of people have cancelled their holidays. We want to show people that the county is up and running and we're holding fantastic events like this one today."

– Beth Pipe, NotJustLakes
Credit: ITV Border

Competitors have come from as far away as Ireland to take part in the event. Connor McCloskey was fastest through the opening stage but had a spin in stage two and ended up with a car full of water- ending his rally.

Credit: ITV Border

It's a great event and i love the stages over here. Their not short like the ones back home, they're long and you can really get stuck into them. Unfortunately our day hasn't gone to plan but it could be worse- we could have crashed."

– Connor McCloskey, Rally driver

The last car is due to finish just after 2.30pm at The Hired Lad in Penrith.


Malcolm Wilson praises "phenomenal" effort

"After what happened to Ott and Raigo, it was just a huge relief for the entire team to see that they were both okay. For me, it was important to get them back out on the stages and that was exactly what they wanted to do. There was no deliberation, and that shows a real determination.

"The job that our technicians did to get the car fixed was nothing short of phenomenal. There were a lot of people in the service park who didn't think it could be done, but I knew that they would be more than worthy of the challenge.

"They are a true credit to this team and I am sure that their loyalty and respect for Ott and Raigo also spurred them on – the crew staying by their side until the work was complete."

– Malcolm Wilson, Msport

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.

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.''