And now for something completely different…

Expanding the team operations to include circuit racing, M-Sport will run an Audi R8 LMS in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship this year. Using the experience to gain vital knowledge before a full assault on the wider race scene next year, M-Sport Racing will make their track debut at Oulton Park on Saturday 30th March.

A wise business move from Mr Wilson, but will the company’s focus shift entirely to circuit racing after 2014 when the current campaign in the World Rally Championship comes to an end?

Renowned for showcasing one of the most prestigious sportscar grids of any national motorsport championship, the 2013 edition of the British GT series will see the M-Sport Racing team gain valuable experience of both the championship and the conditions.

Developed by Audi in 2008, the R8 LMS is a worthy competitor and, since launching in 2009, has taken no fewer than 157 victories from 579 races. The vehicle used by M-Sport Racing will be a 2013 evolution boasting upgrades to the engine, brakes, chassis and aerodynamics for the new season.

The team’s drivers will be Briton Warren Hughes – who steps up from winning the GT4 class in last year’s series – and Dutchman Rembert Berg.

Warren Hughes said: “I’m delighted to be joining M-Sport Racing and I am more excited about this programme than I have been for a long time. The people and facilities at M-Sport give this project fantastic potential and my aim will be to impress as I look forward to what may hopefully lead to a successful partnership. I’m also really looking forward to working with my new team mate, Rembert Berg, and hoping that we will make a very good team.”

M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said: “Since the announcement at the end of last year that M-Sport will make a new venture into circuit racing, the team has been working tirelessly to ensure that we are as fully prepared as possible for this new project. Running the Audi R8 LMS in the British GT Championship will allow the team to gain a wealth of knowledge and experience and be as fully equipped as possible for the exciting challenges ahead.”

Handbrakes & Hairpins is a FREE weekly eMagazine. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and entertainment from the world of rallying.

Folie 1