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M-Sport struggles in Sweden

Rally Sweden proved to be an eventful and challenging rally for the NGK-sponsored M-Sport Ford WRC team, following the highs of Monte Carlo last month.

Fast and tricky conditions in the new northern event location of Umeå would see the new generation of cars put to the ultimate test on the high speed snow and ice stages for the very first time.

After a weekend filled with ups and downs and tough stage conditions, Gus Greensmith and Swedish co-driver Jonas Andersson would see their confident and solid drive rewarded with a second consecutive fifth overall finish. They now lie fourth in the official drivers’ championship rankings and are the leading M-Sport crew after the first two events of the season.

Craig Breen and Paul Nagle had to retire from Friday’s action after getting stuck in a snowbank. However, the second day of competition would see Breen claim his first stage win as an M-Sport driver and simultaneously a first stage win for the Puma Rally1 Hybrid on snow and ice. However, further bad luck would see the car suffer an electrical issue and although they were able to find and fix the fault, they would be over their allotted time limit and forced to retire for the day.

The final day would see Breen drive through the stages preserving his tyres for the all-important power stage where he would take a vital point to go towards his championship tally.

Meanwhile, Adrien Fourmaux and Alex Coria had to retire from the event following misfiring issues, an unfortunate result which didn’t reflect the maturity and sensible drive completed up until that time.

Richard Millener, Team Principal, said: “We knew that repeating the fairy tale of Monte Carlo would be tricky, but I think we are all a little disappointed with how the weekend panned out when we know that we can be on the pace of the other drivers. Some small technical issues coupled with some small mistakes from the drivers meant we didn’t manage to capitalise on our great start last month.”

Ignition and sensor specialist NGK is a long-time supporter of the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team. Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “It proved to be a very difficult rally for M-Sport but the team battled hard and showed great attitude in harsh conditions.”



Worldwide: NGK SPARK PLUG is one of the leading automotive and technical ceramics suppliers, with its corporate headquarters in Nagoya, Japan and sales organisations and production facilities all over the world. The automotive side of the company specialises in the fields of ignition and sensor technology, supplying Original Equipment customers across the globe. For the Aftermarket, its product portfolio comprises spark plugs, glow plugs, ignition coils and leads under the NGK Ignition Parts brand. Under the brand NTK Vehicle Electronics the company offers oxygen sensors (including NOx sensors), exhaust gas temperature sensors (EGTS), mass air flow (MAF) and manifold absolute/boost pressure (MAP) sensors as well as engine speed and position sensors. With around 16,400 employees, the company’s automotive and technical ceramics activities generate a total annual turnover of around 3.7 billion Euros worldwide. NGK SPARK PLUG’s EMEA sales represent 32% of this global turnover. NGK SPARK PLUG operates on all continents and has 60 group companies, 35 production plants, five Technical Centres and three Venture Labs.


Aftermarket EMEA: NGK SPARK PLUG has seen significant growth across the Aftermarket since expanding beyond motorcycle parts into the automotive sector in the 1970s. With an outstanding commitment to quality, technology and research & development the company has become the world’s number one in spark plugs and oxygen sensors, and a leading provider of glow plugs, ignition coils and leads as well as further sensor technology. Organisationally NGK SPARK PLUG’s regional headquarters in Ratingen, Germany serves the Aftermarket across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In the EMEA region the company has six regional companies and more than 1,000 employees, as well as two production plants in France and South Africa and a Technical Centre in Germany.


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Annika Lustig, Specialist PR & Communications, Aftermarket EMEA, NGK SPARK PLUG EUROPE GmbH
Harkortstr. 41, 40880 Ratingen, Germany, AG Duesseldorf HRB 43118
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