How can you tell WRC is in good shape and getting better and better with each passing day? It’s easy and it can be compared to the car industry. Constant buzz is one of the key signs of things improving rapidly. Also the overall positive atmosphere concerning the sport, its future and the upcoming season in particular. Teams are steadily rolling out their marketing and PR plans and ideas, new lineups are talk of the month and cars are revealed to the masses, but not before the healthy dose of anticipation and impatience has been achieved. Car industry knows it so well, and they are carefully supplying the correct dose of excitement by releasing all sorts of teasers. WRC could use some of those tricks as well – it’s fine to be eager to share the fantastic bit of news with us, but do it carefully and don’t reveal too much. Or just play the waiting game and stick to the plan then release the news when the time is right. Which is exactly what M-Sport planned to do, but someone clearly thought it would be oh-so much fun to screw it all up and post a pic of the car one (1) day before the official launch.
I can see this person being the first in line to see the new movie, then line up to buy tickets for the next showing of the same movie and while waiting in line to enter the theater he or she will talk very loudly, revealing all the important bits. They will also do the same thing with books, so it’s only natural that they’ll find it fun to screw up with their employer and steal their secrets. Well, okay, this person might be the most innocent grandma of them all, and it may be that this picture was sent to his or her bestest-of-best friends, who then turned all stupid and shit and posted in on Internet. But it should not have left M-Sport offices, nope, no. Because M-Sport and WRC are not your usual ubermega car manufacturer, with their Nth generation of their uberboring family truckster and you’ve just decided to snap a pic of the car in the shop and sell it for a Coke and a burger to some online car magazine. M-Sport and WRC must use every bit of available marketing space and each and every idea simply must work perfectly to capture the attention of the audience. Someone working for M-Sport should bloody well know that. Or look for another job.
As it turned out, we all saw the new Fiesta RS WRC livery yesterday, thanks to that low resolution front 3/4 angle photo. It did not reveal too much, but it revealed everything at the same time. Can you imagine the level of frustration? M-Sport wanted to present something original to us, they planned to unveil the livery by wrapping one Fiesta RS WRC live at the Autosport Show. Well they are still sticking to that plan, but I am quite certain they’re beyond gutted. What should have been a very clever and entertaining idea turned into a “neat idea but hey well all saw the car last night, rite guys?”
All the careful preparation and the stubborn refusals to reveal anything before the time is right, gone. M-Sport knew very well we were keen to find out more about their programme for this year, they knew we were wondering about the car livery and the sponsors. They were quiet not because they ignored us, but because they wanted to excite us and add to the overall great buzz surrounding the sport before the first event in Monte.
Someone with a confused sense of loyalty, responsibility and, well I dare say duty, thought otherwise. As a punishment he or she should be forced to remove the wraps from the cars after Rally GB without damaging them. They will then receive 10 lashes and be banished from the automotive industry unless McLaren is looking to buy another secret or two.
To M-Sport, the livery is mega awesome, now it’s up to your drivers to make it truly shine out on stages!
EDIT: Come to think of it, it may also be that this was/is in fact an official photograph, which somehow found it’s way out of M-Sport offices and onto Internet. Does not make it any less sucky, though.
@WorldRallyBlog was a leak. My mate who works at M Sport told me a text went round saying if they trace it there'd be disciplinary action.
— William Lloyd (@rallywill) January 11, 2014