Fanatec Joins M-Sport as Technical Partner for WRC 2022 Season

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team is excited to announce Fanatec, the world-leading brand for dedicated sim racing hardware,  as a new technical partner ahead of the upcoming 2022 season and the launch of the Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1.  

In a joint partnership that will encompass both sim products and rally technology, the teams at M-Sport and Fanatec have been working together to develop the steering wheels for the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s all-new Puma Hybrid Rally1, which will see its debut at Rallye Monte Carlo at the end of this month.

At the beginning of this new era for the FIA World Rally Championship and the introduction of all-new plug-in 100kW hybrid systems and sustainable race fuel, this partnership between M-Sport and Fanatec seems all the more fitting as the two teams combine knowledge of virtual and real-world motorsport to produce leading technology that sits at the centre of the action.

M-Sport’s previous involvement in eSports gives it an appreciation for sim racing, seeing it as a crucial and effective testing ground for developing both car and driver performance. The unique cross-over between virtual and real-world motorsport benefits both the functionality of the steering wheel inside the car, as well as sim set up used worldwide by drivers and fans alike. Working with feedback from M-Sport drivers, Fanatec has helped produce a steering wheel with a lightweight, rigid design that is fit for the highest demands required in Rally1.

M-Sport is thrilled at the chance to work with the leading brand in sim technology to see that its products and technology are at the forefront as rallying heads into its new era. Fanatec’s established history in sim racing hardware has allowed it to work with other manufacturers to produce top-of-the-range products, and M-Sport is excited to join its ranks as the companies work together throughout this new partnership.

Thomas Jackermeier, CEO, Fanatec/Endor, said: ”Last year Fanatec made huge strides towards our goal of blending real and virtual racing, so we wanted to start 2022 equally strong. Working with M-Sport to include Fanatec made parts in the Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 for the upcoming WRC season is another example where the line between motorsport and sim racing is becoming harder to define. We’re happy and proud to be part of the new hybrid era of WRC and to give our customers more motorsport-grade products to choose from. If a nine-time World Champion like Sébastien Loeb thinks our product is a vital part of the car, then we know we are on the right path.”
 
Rich Millener, Team Principal, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, said: “I remember when I got my first sim wheel over 15 years ago and I have to say the development of this area of gaming is hugely impressive. To now have the same steering wheel that is used in a real life Rally1 car also on your home gaming setup is really quite incredible. Although I am not a prolific gamer these days I do keep an eye on what is happening in the sim world because I truly feel that there are genuine benefits that can be transferred from the sim world to the real world. I am really excited to be working with Fanatec and see how we can both continue to improve our products from both real life and sim development work, which will end up in better products and better results for both companies.”

Craig Breen, Driver, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, said: “It’s great to be working with Fanatec in preparation for the 2022 season. It’s really interesting to see them take this leap into ‘reality’ and they have allowed us to get the most out of the Puma Hybrid Rally1 with their steering wheel control panel. I’m looking forward to working with them into the future.”

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