Malcolm Wilson awarded OBE
- 15th June 2009, 8:52am
The award is one of the highest achievements bestowed by the British monarchy and recognises distinguished achievement in any field at national or regional level. Wilson will receive his honour from Her Majesty The Queen at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London later this year.
Wilson, director of the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team, led Ford to the manufacturers' world title in the FIA World Rally Championship in 2006 and 2007.
Wilson joins other British motorsport greats including Sir Jackie Stewart (GBE), Colin McRae (MBE), John Surtees (OBE), Nigel Mansell (OBE) and Damon Hill (OBE) in being granted an Order of the British Empire.
"It's a great honour, and a huge surprise, to be recognised in this way by Her Majesty The Queen," said 53-year-old Wilson, managing director of Cumbrian-based M-Sport, the preparation business which runs Ford's world rally programme.
"Motorsport, and particularly rallying, has been my life. I feel so proud to have delivered two world championship titles for Ford, and equally as proud to have done so from M-Sport's base at my home town in Cockermouth, Cumbria. I feel very humble that our achievements have been recognised in this way.
"But this is not just an honour for me. It's also a reward for all the employees at M-Sport who work so hard to keep Ford at the forefront of the FIA World Rally Championship. They should also feel great pride at this award," said Wilson.
Ian Slater, Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs for Ford of Europe, paid tribute to Wilson. "I'm delighted that Malcolm's achievements have been recognised today in The Queen's Birthday Honours List. He joins a very select group of British motorsport heroes in being honoured in this way.
"He sits alongside great world champions of the calibre of Sir Jackie Stewart, who won three drivers' world titles in Formula 1, and John Surtees, the only man to win world titles on both two and four wheels.
"To rank with such household names is a testament to his dedication, sheer hard work and visible enthusiasm for the sport he loves. This is a proud day for all of us, and especially for Malcolm's family and all the committed people at our M-Sport partners in the FIA World Rally Championship. So, on behalf of everyone at Ford Motor Company, I extend my warm congratulations on this honour," said Slater.
Wilson is one of British motorsport's most successful names with more than 30 years' experience in rallying â€“ over 20 of those with Ford.
He rose to fame as a driver in the 1970s, winning two national titles in Britain in Ford Escorts. He went onto drive for three factory teams in the world championship and spent several years as Ford's chief test driver, developing new rally cars. In 1994 he ended his driving career by achieving a career-long aim of winning the British Rally Championship for Ford.
Having already formed his own preparation company, Wilson was appointed to run Ford's official world championship rally programme in 1997. Under his leadership, Ford has twice won the manufacturers' title with the record-breaking Focus RS World Rally Car and finished second on six occasions.
Since M-Sport was awarded the Ford contract, the team has won 38 world rallies and scored points on 113 consecutive world rallies â€“ a record in itself.
Throughout his career Wilson has been supported by his wife, Elaine, also an M-Sport director. Their son, Matthew, is one of Britain's brightest motorsport prospects and is himself a full-time driver in the world championship.
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