M-Sport Stobart Ford World Rally Team principal Malcolm Wilson has paid tribute to Edward Stobart, former head of the team's title sponsor, who died yesterday.
Stobart, 56, suffered heart problems on Wednesday and died in the hospital yesterday. Stobart no longer owned the haulage company, having sold it to his brother William and business partner Andrew Tinkler in 2004. But Edward built the company, established by his father Eddie, into one of the biggest haulage firms in the UK.
As a brand, the Stobart name has also been synonymous with British rallying. The Cumbrian firm has backed a variety of drivers including Mark Higgins and Matthew Wilson. Stobart is a familiar name in the World Rally Championship, backing Matthew Wilson's Fiesta RS WRC which is prepared by Malcolm Wilson's M-Sport firm.
Malcolm Wilson said: "On behalf of myself and the M-Sport Stobart Ford World Rally Team, we were deeply saddened to hear the news about Edward Stobart yesterday.
"Although Edward has not been involved within the business since 2004, he helped build the iconic brand that had been originally started by his father. He was an extraordinary man and our thoughts go out to Edward's family and friends at this difficult time."