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Whickham and District Motor Club Limited

Two and a half hours of pure blokey stuff

On Thursday the 29th of July WDMC organised a trip to M-Sport in Cumbria, and a very full mini-bus set off from Kibby Club at around 3pm (ish) to drive to the workshop and have a guided tour of the premises.

In true WDMC form, the actual trip in the minibus was the sort of event probably best not reported in the news, suffice to say that Darkie Lewis's dog Monty made an awful lot of friends and Michael Glendinning, (making his own way there) provided an element of competition that would otherwise have been missing.

M-Sport beer mat

However, what a tour it was! We were introduced to Roger, our guide, a thoroughly pleasant man who made everybody feel very welcome and gave us all a guided tour that some of us will never forget. Wev were very lucky to get a little bit extra from the tour when Roger took us all into the wiring shop - and I think it's fair to say we were all more than a little amazed at the quality of the wiring harnesses they put together there!

Broken dreams

MSport Bgd wheel2

We had what can only be described as the Full Monty of a guided tour, and Roger was brilliant at explaining all the things that we came across, whether it was a huge CNC machine or the rubber mats on the benches - he patiently explained everything to us in a way that only a true enthusiast talking to other true enthusiasts could.

MSport bugd wheel1

We saw a significant amount of history whilst we were there - from the broken wheels that put crews out of a rally to the drinks bottles that kept them hydrated.

MSport Fiesta

As we left one of the workshops we went into a link corridor and what should be sitting there, large as life, but S9 FMC - Colin McRae and Nicky Grist's 1999 Safari Rally winning Ford Focus looking immaculate and presented in all its glory for everyone to appreciate.

MSport Focus

She's so lovely...

Anyone who has been watching the recent TV series about Eddie Stobart will have seen how his drivers have to be everything from drivers to exhibition erectors to catering staff to PR people to washing up ladies. But the only thing we were interested in was the cars, and when we saw this beautiful MK2 I think everyone just went back in time a wee little bit.....

MSport Malcs MK2


Nice office to work in

The attention to detail that went into everything was really eye-opening - from the very obvious things to the tiny little touches that make every single car almost a work of art. Appreciating 'The Office' of a top driver was something that left a lasting impression on everyone who was there - and I'm sure must have given some of the attendees a few very good ideas about rally car preparation.

MSport Office

The RS1700T

There was also a treat for those of us who remember such very rare things as the RS1700T - developed from 1980-1983 - the plans for the car were to be the successor to the ultra successful Mk2 Escort RS1800.

This was Ford's first attempt at a turbocharged rally competition car, a brief spec being:
1778cc, BDT engine, 200 Bhp (Road) 350 Bhp (Works), aluminium block, developed by Ford & Cosworth.
Engine mounted longitudinal unlike the transverse mounting for the Escort Mk3 road car.
Rear Wheel Drive.
Full independent suspension all round.
Top speed 140 mph
0-60 mph 4.2 (350bhp)

MSport RS1700T

We also managed to sneak some very naughty photographs in the workshops where we were not supposed to have cameras, but I have been passed this picture of some truly lovely suspension (sounds pervy I know) from an unnamed source.

MSport Suspension

Some of the exhibits there were a little more poignant - like Colin McRae's overalls with his handwritten message to everyone at M-Sport - thanking them for everything.
It's fair to say that one particular item had almost everyone quietly thinking about all the things that had happened over the years we've been following motorsport.

MSport Colins suit

...and then it was over.

The tour of the facilities came to an end far too quickly for most of us, and we were really shocked to discover we had been there for almost two and a half hours - the time had simply flown by and none of us had noticed.
To end the tour Roger invited us into the Trophy Room - and what a fantastic selection of awards there were to see!
It was only fitting that we should take a photograph to commemorate our visit - and for many of us, the opportunity to look forward to the next time we could go and see exactly what is involved in running a World Class Rally Team.

Thank you M-Sport - we loved every minute.

MSport Trophy

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