19 Oct: Tunnock’s Goes to Wales

.. Tunnock’s takes on the world with M-Sport …

25_Tunnocks_GB_Rally_smScotland’s world-famous biscuit baker Tunnock’s will join forces with Cumbrian firm M-Sport for Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship next week.

Estonian superstar and two-time world rally winner Ott Tänak will have Tunnock’s incorporated into the livery for his Ford Fiesta WRC on Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (Deeside, October 26-29), while member of the Tunnock’s firm Stuart Loudon will co-drive for Matthew Wilson in a car liveried completely in one of Scotland’s most iconic brands.

Stuart, who has worked with the M-Sport World Rally Team throughout the season, explained how the deal came about.

Stuart said: “I was talking to Richard Millener (M-Sport’s client liaison manager) about some ideas we had to promote Tunnock’s earlier this year and he asked if we would be interested in doing something on the cars for Rally GB.

“M-Sport then contacted dad (Fergus Loudon) and they put the deal together for us to be on Ott’s car and the Fiesta R5 which Matthew and I will be competing in on our home round of the World Rally Championship.

“Naturally, I’m really pleased to see the name of the family firm on the side of the car – and we’re really pleased with the deal and the opportunity it’s given to Tunnock’s – but Matthew and I had planned to compete in Wales from pretty early in the season.”

Tunnock’s joins M-Sport at a crucial time in the FIA World Rally Championship season, with just two rounds remaining the British team is in great shape to lift its first world title in 10 years.

Even better, Tunnock’s-backed Tänak remains in the thick of the fight for the drivers’ title, although his team-mate Sébastien Ogier (FRA) is in a stronger position ahead of Rally GB.

Fergus Loudon, a former West of Scotland Champion co-driver himself, said: “Rallying and motorsport has always been important to us as a family; Stuart’s grandfather competed, as I did. But the opportunity for us to use M-Sport and the World Rally Championship as a platform to potentially further the reach of Tunnock’s is one we weren’t going to miss.

“Millions of people will be tuning in to watch the action from Wales next week and when they do, we’re hoping they’ll see the Tunnock’s name leading the way – and possibly contributing to a British world title.”

M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson OBE said: “We’re delighted to have Tunnock’s with us for the last European round of this year’s World Rally Championship and they really couldn’t have joined us at a better time.

“We’ve had a long association with Tunnock’s, right from when Colin McRae was driving for us from 1999 until 2002. Tunnock’s was one of Colin’s personal sponsors and everybody in the team enjoyed the benefit of that!

“It’s been the same this season. Working on the co-ordination of the team, Stuart has become an integral and very valuable part of M-Sport’s battle to become world champions this year – and I know he’s become a very, very popular fella with plenty in the team for his constant supply of Teacakes and Caramel Wafers!”

Tunnock’s managing director Boyd Tunnock CBE is delighted with the association and admitted parallels between the two firms were easy to find.

“The cars look fantastic,” said Boyd. “I smiled as soon as I saw them and got my phone out to take some pictures to show everyone back at base. Rallying is an exciting spectator sport and they don’t get more exciting than Wales Rally GB. I can’t wait to see these cars in action.

“Like M-Sport, Tunnock’s is a family business and I see a lot of similarities between our two companies. We might make biscuits, and they might make rally cars, but a lot of the basic principles are the same.

“Walking through the workshop at M-Sport, you can see that everyone takes real pride in what they are doing, and that is the same attitude in our factory. Both work forces are passionate about what they are doing, and this is something that yields success. We’ll be hoping to see plenty of that on the stages next week.”

Stuart’s team co-ordination role will take a back seat in Wales when he and Matthew join forces for the first time since they finished second on last year’s Pirelli International Rally.

“I’m delighted to be working with Matthew again,” said Stuart. “The last time I did this rally was three years ago with England cricketer Graeme Swann, when we made a documentary for television. Graeme could bowl a mean off-spinner, but Matthew’s in another league when it comes to driving. The car we’re using next week is four-wheel drive rather than just the front-wheel drive Fiesta I was in with Graeme in 2014. Basically, everything has gone up another level next week. But at least when I get out of the car I’ll be greeted by a familiar colour scheme – in fact, it’ll remind me of the day job I’ll be going back to the week after!

“It’s going to be a great week in Wales. We’re packing hundreds of biscuits to bring down with us, so if you’re in the service park on Deeside, give us a wave – there might be a Teacake in it for you!”