Today has brought two pieces of good news for the price of one as far as the World Rally Championship is concerned.

The first is that Ford has recommitted for another two seasons of rally competition after several weeks of internal deliberation over whether it would carry on.

It’s a positive development for a championship that would be poorer without the presence of its longest-standing manufacturer. Ford’s withdrawal would also have left the WRC with just Citroën and Mini/Prodrive in the championship as high-profile teams, at least until Volkswagen comes in for 2013.

Today’s announcement is also great for Britain’s motorsport industry, because it brings added security to Malcolm Wilson’s Cumbria-based M-Sport firm, which has operated Ford of Europe’s rally attack since 1997. Although Wilson recently made positive noises about carrying on as an independent if Ford decided not to continue, he’ll sleep easier with the might of the Blue Oval still behind him.