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FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 -WRC Monte Carlo (FRA) – WRC 18/01/2017 to 22/01/2017 – PHOTO : @World

NGK-sponsored M-Sport made history when Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia won the first round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship at the legendary Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Winning on its maiden outing, the Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC continues M-Sport’s immaculate record – with another victory on another debut of another new car.

Coming five years after the team’s last win at the 2012 edition of Wales Rally GB, the celebrations were made all the sweeter with a double podium – Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja overcoming all obstacles to secure an impressive third place.

Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “We would like to congratulate the M-Sport team and their drivers for making such an impressive start to this year’s championship. I’m sure that all our customers who are WRC fans are looking forward to following the team’s progress over the course of what should be an exciting season.”

Sébastien Ogier – who is the reigning FIA World Rally Champion – said: “Obviously, I feel really great. It always feels good to win at Rallye Monte-Carlo, but this year we had one of the most difficult challenges we have ever had. We had to contend with some really demanding conditions and also had a new car and a new team – it’s really incredible.”

NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd is a leading supplier of original equipment (OE) spark plugs, glow plugs, NTK Lambda and other engine management sensors, plus ignition coils.


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Chris Holder (red helmet): in the lead at the Millennium Stadium.

NGK-sponsored former World Speedway champion Chris Holder narrowly missed out on taking the British FIM Speedway Grand Prix title.The Australian finished runner-up to winner Niels-Kristian Iversen of Denmark in the final of the event in front of more than 40,000 fans at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, despite being the top points scorer on the night.

Current World Champion Greg Hancock, who is also sponsored by NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, who made the semi-finals, scored 12 points and is now in third place in the 2015 title race, 16 points behind current leader Britain’s Tai Woffinden, who finished fourth in Cardiff.

Runner-up Holder was disappointed not to have claimed his third Cardiff victory but his 18 points total at world Speedway’s biggest event has propelled him up to sixth place on 31 points.

After suffering a spate of injuries over the last two years, he was delighted to be back to his best. He said: “After three rounds, I was nowhere near the top eight. One good round has put me straight back up there. I was sitting right down near the bottom, so getting a lot of points tonight was the plan, and to have a chance of winning is the ultimate.

“Cardiff has been good to me. I’ve had two podiums and two wins, so it would have been awesome to get the win. I’m sure I’ll feel better about getting second tomorrow, but right now I’m not best pleased.”

NGK stablemate and former Cardiff winner Chris Harris endured a tough night, exiting the event on five points. Among the crowd were Paul and Natasha Cartwright who attended the meeting after Natasha’s sister Mel Cullen won tickets via a competition on NGK’s blogzine at

Natasha said: “Unfortunately my sister could not get the day off from her catering job so offered the tickets to Paul and me. We are both big Speedway fans and think the atmosphere in Cardiff is amazing. Mel is a massive Greg Hancock fan and said I could have the tickets if I gave her a signed poster of Greg which a friend got for me when Greg was on the NGK stand at last week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.”

NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd continues to set the pace 40 years after being incorporated as a UK subsidiary company of Japan and recently introduced a new range of NTK exhaust gas temperature sensors (EGTS) and expanded its ignition coils range.


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rsz_hz0g8358-lA class win for Formula 1000 graduate Ben Crealey on this weekend’s Nicky Grist Stages rally, the sixth round of the BTRDA rally series, again proved the validity of the support the Japanese tyre manufacturer offers to young drivers.

Crealey is following in the footsteps of drivers such as Aaron McClure, now driving a Yokohama-supported Mitsubishi Evo9 in the BTRDA, having also graduated from F1000 through the ‘Next Big Step’ program. All three levels of rallying are supported by Yokohama and use the company’s rally tyres.

This weekend, Crealey began the eight-stage event – his first on gravel – concentrating on his notes but by the mid-point service, found that he was in the hunt for the class win. He and co-driver Phil Hall upped their pace for the afternoon and by the time they reached the finish ramp in Builth Wells, had claimed the win by more than a minute.

Elsewhere in the event, previous round Group N winner and Yokohama runner Roland Llewellin was again setting the N4 pace and was leading the class with two stages to go. However, he retired on the penultimate stage while McClure suffered a broken driveshaft on his Mitsubishi on the final stage, dropping two minutes in the process.

At the front of the field, Jamie Anderson was again out in his Yokohama-shod Mitsubishi Lancer WRCar, in the thick of the action in an extremely competitive field. Despite a stage win and a brace of top-three times, he went on to finish the event in sixth place.

Commenting, Head of Motorsport at Yokohama HPT, Mark Evans, said: “I am delighted to see Ben taking his first class win, at just 17 years of age. As a graduate of the Formula 1000 series, he is another driver that has demonstrated the value of that route into motorsport and I am pleased that Yokohama’s support of young drivers has again reaped rewards.”


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