Trailer firm helps rally aces on road to success

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Europe’s top trailer maker has clinched a second deal to provide the driving force behind one of the world’s leading rally teams.

Ifor Williams Trailers has supplied two of its versatile Transporta trailers to Cumbria-based M-Sport which has a string of international titles and rally wins to its credit, including three FIA World Rally Championship Manufacturers’ titles.

To celebrate the new partnership flying Finns Esapekka Lappi and Teemu Suninen, along with British new hope Gus Greensmith, made a head-turning appearance for Ifor Williams Trailers at Autosport International 2020, a four-day event at Birmingham NEC which is live-streamed across the globe.

The iconic trailer firm was cast into the spotlight when the three stars of the circuit rallied behind its stand at the exhibition showcasing the technology that helps them blaze to victory.

It is the 15th year that Ifor Williams Trailers has attended the hot ticket gathering housed across five of the giant halls of the NEC and attracting hundreds of thousands of industry traders, track professionals, hobbyists and fans.

It brings together the biggest brands at the nerve centre of 21st-century motorsport engineering, performance and tuning.

The avidly watched M-Sport outfit has prepared and run Ford’s assault on the FIA World Rally Championship since 1997.

The successful partnership has now been extended for a further two years, and an M-Sport emblazoned trailer, plus rally car, were central to the Ifor Williams Trailers exhibit at Autosport International..

Ifor Williams Trailers sales manager Daniel Joyce said the visit of the trio of driving aces was a significant coup.

He said: “There was already a buzz about our stand this year and when the three drivers stopped by it all stepped up a gear.

“These guys are among the most hotly tipped stars of 2020 and have full-on itineraries. It’s virtually non-stop for them, so we’re really grateful they took time out to get behind us.

“They shone an unmissable spotlight on the Ifor Williams Trailers brand and confirmed to our customers that the Ifor Williams Brand is coveted by those at the very pinnacle of motorsport.”

Teemu Suninen, 25, first became a key member of the M-Sport Ford Line-up in 2017, making his world rally car debut with the Blue Oval on the fast gravel stages of Poland and Finland. Since then he has developed into one of the sport’s most exciting you talents and secured a career-best second place in a breakthrough season last year.

He was pleased to help turn eyes on the Ifor Williams Trailers brand, saying: “Rally driving is a team sport. Every individual and every single component is vital to move the team forward. That includes the logistics of transporting cars between destinations around the world. The Transporta is a great trailer, solid, reliable, built to the highest standards. We know our cars are safe in this.”

M-Sport turned to Ifor Williams Trailers when it was looking for trailers strong and reliable enough to travel thousands of miles a year with its 25-strong test team as they prepare the way for the main rally contingents.

The M-Sport camp say the Transportas do a fantastic job and have already proven their worth carrying rally cars and equipment to a host of challenging locations like the arctic circle of Sweden.

Finnish driver Esapekka Lappi, 28, moved to M-Sport from Citroen where he partnered multiple champion Sebastian Ogier in 2019.

He praised the cohesiveness of the M-Sport camp and its positive relationship with its sponsors like Ifor Williams Trailers.

M-Sport has secured a string of international triumphs including three FIA World Rally Championship manufacturer’s titles. It also looks after Bentley Motorsport in the Blancpain Endurance Series.

Up and coming M-Sport star Gus Greensmith, of Manchester, was a Manchester City youth goalkeeper before deciding to focus his talents fully on the motor circuit. In 2014 he became British Junior Rally champion.

Now aged 22 he is looking forward to ongoing success with M-Sport.

He said: “Rallying is a team sport so the bond between everyone involved is vital. That’s why I’m happy to take time to meet our partners at Ifor Williams Trailers. They provide an essential part of our logistics set-up.”

Daniel Joyce added: “Motorsport is advancing all the time in terms of technology and equipment. It’s a fast-paced industry in more ways than one, demanding innovative logistics and infrastructure. By talking with the drivers and others in the M-Sport camp we learn how we can improve and adapt our products to meet their ongoing needs.

“Being at the heart of an event like Autosport International also keeps our brand to the fore. It puts us on the radar of potential future customers and industry decision-makers.

“This has been a game-changing event for us over the years and even on the launch day this year we had genuine inquiries from potential new business. Some people will place firm orders with us over the course of the event, others will do their research here with a view to making a purchase a little later in the year.”

Ifor Williams Trailers sales co-ordinator Richard Sullivan said the vibe was positive from the start.

He said: “Inquiries have been constant with barely a gap between them. Our display trailers and particularly the Transporta with the M-Sport wrap have definitely been making an impact.

“It’s great to meet the drivers and chat to them. They really made us centre of attention. Lots of people stopped to take photos of them with the Transporta trailer.

“Today has definitely been one for the record book. Who knows I may have just shaken the hand of a future world motor rallying champion.”