“Rich has been with us 10 years now and he’s got a really good grip on all aspects of the WRC and the customer world,” Wilson said. “It’s no secret that I need to get my business back on track to shore up the foundations for the future.
“It would not be fair to say Ogier has derailed M-Sport’s financial plans, but he hasn’t helped. In fact, the biggest aspect is that we haven’t sold any World Rally Cars. Historically we’ve sold between eight and 14 cars a year and I thought we’d continue that trend. In the last two years, we’ve sold two and that, combined with the downturn in R5 sales – especially now that everybody knows we’ve got a new car coming this year – has hit us hard.
“The target is for 2020. Obviously we’re hoping Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen are right there, but if not, then I want to have the funding to go for an Ott Tänak or a driver like that. I want to be back in the position to fight for the titles again.”
He also said that there would be no holding back in development this year, adding: “One of the ground rules established with Rich and I, is that there won’t be any reduction in what we do with the car. It’s absolutely cast in stone that we keep the car competitive and that resource is there.
“Rich is so hungry for this, he’s coming to me with ideas all of the time. He has autonomy over the team and the decisions, but of course I’ll be there in the background.
“We’re all about giving youngsters a chance, be that drivers, mechanics or people like Rich. He’s come up through the ranks, starting out in parts sales and he’s worked his way through the company.”
Source: Motorsport Week