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Thursday, February 22, 2024

M-Sport answered critics with WRC Monte efficiency

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The Ford squad has opted to advertise its Rally2 drivers Adrien Fourmaux and Gregoire Munster to its Rally1 programme for 2024, following Ott Tanak’s determination to depart the organisation to re-join Hyundai.

Fourmaux and Munster impressed throughout Monte Carlo’s 17 difficult asphalt phases final weekend as each set a top-three stage time.

Fourmaux produced a powerful drive to bag 11 factors, solely two shy of his complete season complete throughout his first Rally1 marketing campaign in 2022.

The Frenchman completed fifth general [+3m36.9s] and was fifth quickest throughout Sunday’s phases, forward of manufacturing unit drivers Takamoto Katsuta (Toyota) and Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai).

Munster was additionally heading in the right direction to complete sixth general earlier than a small error on Saturday left his Ford Puma beached along with the highway. He rejoined the rally on Sunday to assert a solitary level after ending seventh within the ‘Tremendous Sunday’ classification.

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“We got here right here with a transparent objective of getting each automobiles to the end, to achieve expertise with the drivers and to indicate that we might be aggressive this yr,” stated Millener.

“I firmly imagine we achieved all of this. Each crews every scored a third-fastest time and drove sensibly over what was nonetheless a difficult Monte Carlo Rally.

“I’m actually happy for each of them, and likewise the staff who, as ever, labored very laborious to get us right here and gave us two completely dependable automobiles.

Picture by: M-Sport

Adrien Fourmaux, Alexandre Coria, M-Sport Ford World Rally Workforce Ford Puma Rally1

“I believe the massive Positive is, it goes to indicate the those that had been type of writing us off in the beginning that we’re nonetheless there [fighting at front].

“We’re going to have to select and select, we’re not going to be aggressive on each rally, however we positively are going to have alternatives for podiums and getting in the way in which of the championship struggle.”

Fourmaux additionally believes his efficiency over the rally proved a degree, showcasing that he has matured as a driver.

“I’m actually happy with what we now have achieved,” Fourmaux informed Autosport. “The objective was for fifth and we achieved that.

“I believe we managed the rally nicely and we’re the primary crew behind the 4 high guys. And behind us is Andreas and Takamoto who’re actually skilled.

“That is what I learnt from final yr. Okay we’re lacking some tempo, however it’s a work in progress. We’re taking 11 factors; it’s greater than if we completed fifth final yr. It’s Positive.

“Some individuals had doubts about us preventing on the entrance. Okay we’re not preventing for the win, however we had been simply behind.

“We’re aggressive and I believe it should give some help to the followers, so that is good.”

Munster added: “The objective was simply to get expertise on this difficult rally in Monte-Carlo, and I believe we managed to try this.

Grégoire Munster, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

Picture by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Grégoire Munster, M-Sport Ford World Rally Workforce

“Sadly, we needed to retire on Saturday and restart, however I believe we grabbed a variety of expertise and confirmed nice tempo.

“Because of the route observe crews and climate crews, we managed to get a third-fastest time, which is our greatest outcome to this point on a WRC stage.

“We additionally managed to be inside 0.5s/km of Thierry [Neuville] on Saturday morning, whereas he was the quickest automobile on the loop, which was an actual Positive.

“We grabbed our first level in WRC, we might have achieved extra with out the error on Saturday, however nonetheless nice studying and due to the staff the automobile was working completely all through the weekend.”

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