Matthew Wilson heads a magnificent entry list for this Saturday’s M-Sport Return to Rally Stages, which takes place in the team’s privately-owned test venue, Greystoke forest (22 August).

M-Sport’s chief test driver and race team manager will drive a top-specification EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC, while his father and M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson will drive an Escort Mk2 as course opening car.

The one-off event will showcase the full range of M-Sport cars across all levels of competition – including a number of Ford Fiesta R5s, Fiesta STs, Fiesta Rally2s and a Ford Fiesta Rally4.

M-Sport Ford’s WRC 2 team will also be in action, as Rhys Yates and Adrien Fourmaux take to the stages in a pair of Fiesta Rally2s – the latter claiming his first outright victory when Greystoke hosted the UK’s last gravel event at the Malcolm Wilson Rally back in March.

M-Sport Ford team principal Richard Millener will also be in action with a Fiesta R2.

There are also a number of familiar names from British and Irish rallying, including the Moffett brothers, Josh and Sam, in a pair of Fiesta R5s – which is also the car of choice for Joseph McGonigle, Jason Mitchell and Rory Young.

Stephen Petch and Charlie Payne will each drive a Fiesta RS WRC, while Frank Bird will pilot a Focus RS WRC.

Other notable names on the entry list include Kenny McKinstry, Hugh Hunter, Tom Preston, Tony Simpson and Tom Williams.

The event will act as an example of how the UK can return to rallying safely and responsibly, but remains strictly non-spectator and fans are kindly reminded to stay away from the forest to ensure this is the case.

The event will be filmed, with a highlights programme shared with fans next week.

“We’ve got some great entries for the M-Sport Return to Rally Stages and I’m looking forward to catching up with as many of the competitors as I can,” says M-Sport managing director, Malcolm Wilson OBE.

“Seeing all of the cars on the list is really quite humbling – knowing that each and every one was designed and developed by our people here at Dovenby as well as our base in Krakow.

“Over the past 20 years we’ve worked hard to ensure there is a competitive Ford at all levels of competition, and that’s something we continuously strive to achieve. I think it will be quite emotional seeing all these cars lined up in the service park – each representing what we’ve achieved over the past two decades.

“Of course it’s no secret that we’re going through a particularly tough time at the moment, but seeing all these cars and remembering how we have bounced back from tough times in the past makes me all the more determined to come out the other side and continue to deliver for Cumbria and for rallying.

“I have to say that I’m also looking forward to getting back behind the wheel myself, even if not competitively, and to what I’m sure will be some close-fought competition throughout all the classes.

“All that remains is to say good luck to all of the competitors. I look forward to seeing you all soon, and will keep my fingers crossed for some Cumbrian sunshine!”

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