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MEET THE TEAM: PAUL GORMAN

Paul Gorman heads up M-Sport's Hydraulics Department and has been a familiar face in Malcolm Wilson’s company since 1996. Before heading to the team’s pre-event test, we caught up with him to get the low-down on Rally Finland and his role within the team.

How long have you been with M-Sport and what made you join the company?

I’ve been back at M-Sport five and a half years now, but I have also worked here in the past. I first started working for Malcolm back in 1996 and, to be honest, coming back was easy. I know the place, I like the work, I like the people, I like rallying and I like Fords.

What does your role in the Hydraulics Department involve?

Working in the Hydraulics Department at Dovenby Hall, I start every morning by checking the workload for the day and ensuring that everyone is doing the right job and that they have the correct parts and specification for their relevant tasks.

We work on all of the cars’ hydraulics systems which can be anything from the dampers to the gear change and brake components. We do all of this for the M-Sport cars as well as all of the customer cars that we have competing around the world. From day to day we can be working on anything from the 2017 Fiesta WRC to the old Focus’.

I also travel to all of the FIA World Rally Championship tests and events. On events I work on one of the car corners, but I also have a supporting role for all cars in the M-Sport service area. I set-up all of the dampers and ensure that they are all up to standard with the correct clicks and the correct springs.

What are clicks?

On the damper itself there are a number of adjusters that can be used to change the handling of the car – high speed and low speed bump (or the compression cycle on the damper) in the bottom adjuster, and rebound (or extension cycle) in the top adjuster.

When we talk about clicks, we’re talking about the units that these adjustments are measured in. A typical damper will have 30 positions of adjustment and we call the units ‘clicks’ because of the feel of the adjuster as it scrolls through the range of adjustments. It’s as simple as that.

How are our dampers designed to withstand the punishing jumps of Rally Finland?

The gravel damper has a lot more travel when compared to a standard road car and the valve inside is also stiffer over compressions. When you land a big jump, like the ones we’ll see in Finland, our dampers are designed to soak up the energy efficiently and effectively.

What are your hopes ahead of Rally Finland?

I hope to see our crews on the podium, and hopefully on the top-step!