WRC

Short strengthens Ford's world rally squad

Phil Short, one of world rallying's most experienced managers, is to join the Ford Martini World Rally Team as sporting adviser for this season's FIA World Rally Championship. The 55-year-old, who has a remarkable record of success behind him at...

Phil Short, one of world rallying's most experienced managers, is to join the Ford Martini World Rally Team as sporting adviser for this season's FIA World Rally Championship. The 55-year-old, who has a remarkable record of success behind him at the sport's highest level, will work with the team on each of the 13 remaining rallies.

Short will work alongside Ford Martini team director Malcolm Wilson and co-ordinator John Millington, advising on strategic decisions and tactics. His role will be an on-event post only.

Englishman Short will renew links with Ford's official rally team stretching back to 1977 when he was a co-driver with John Taylor. He has 17 international victories to his name as a co-driver, as well as two British international titles, and co-drove for Wilson on British championship rallies in 1982 and 1983.

He started in team management in 1981, working with the team that carried Ari Vatanen to the world drivers' title that year in a Ford Escort. He has been instrumental in winning a further seven drivers' titles and four manufacturers' crowns with drivers of the calibre of Juha Kankkunen, Tommi Mäkinen and Carlos Sainz, with whom he now joins forces again at Ford. He has amassed 46 world rally victories in management and stepped down as team manager at Mitsubishi at the end of last season.

"I was keen to remain in rallying, which has been my life for so many years, but wanted to be more home based," said Short. "I've spent much time living away from home to follow my career and last year I decided a change was needed. My new role will allow me to continue to be involved at the top level where I believe I have a great deal to offer, while spending more time at home with my family."

Wilson said: "Phil's exceptional record speaks for itself. His expertise and thoroughness in all aspects of team management are well-documented and I'm delighted he's joining Ford's squad.

"Most of the top teams are now entering three cars on world rallies and the managerial requirements are obviously increasing as a result. Phil will provide valuable support in that area and his appointment underlines the commitment Ford is putting into rallying and stresses our determination to win the world championship in 2001," he added.

Short's first event with the Ford Martini team will be the Swedish International Rally on February 9-11.

-Ford Racing

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Series WRC
Drivers Carlos Sainz , Juha Kankkunen , Ari Vatanen , John Taylor , Malcolm Wilson