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Friday, June 14, 2024

M-Sport not “massively involved” after troublesome WRC Safari Rally

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The Ford squad has been absent from the WRC podium since Ott Tanak completed second in Croatia again in April, a outcome which was then adopted by the Estonian ending fourth in Portugal earlier than {an electrical} fault robbed him of a high 10 end in Sardinia. 

Final weekend, Tanak led the Safari Rally heading into Friday, however his hopes of a podium have been dashed when a tyre got here off the rim throughout stage 4, costing M-Sport driver greater than two minutes. Tanak was compelled to alter his wheel once more later within the rally when his wheel broke once more.

Tanak in the end finished the rally 9m14.4s adrift in sixth. Workforce-mate Pierre-Louis Loubet additionally needed to make two wheel modifications and battled an early engine mishap, ensuing within the Frenchman coming residence seventh, greater than 16 minutes behind the successful Toyota of Sebastien Ogier.

Tanak did nonetheless show the Puma’s pace by successful the powerstage following the disqualification of Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville. Tanak heads to subsequent month’s residence spherical in Estonia 42 factors behind championship chief Kalle Rovanpera. 

“We aren’t involved. Once more we now have proven the tempo of the automotive on the powerstage and I can let you know these Toyota drivers have been making an attempt and so they have been all carrying a difficulty,” Millener advised Autosport.

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“We frequently get a tough time about reliability however for those who look all 4 of these Toyotas had the identical downside. I believe the pace the drivers are driving at and the circumstances we’re going via are difficult. 

“I don’t assume we’re able that we have to be massively involved about, okay Ott remains to be not 100% snug, however I believe whenever you drop two minutes [to a puncture] and you might be lacking that battle with somebody it’s by no means the identical. Anybody that’s competing is aware of that if you’re not combating you may have the tempo however you don’t have the adrenaline rush to push that little bit more durable. 

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, M-Sport Ford World Rally Workforce Ford Puma Rally1

Photograph by: M-Sport

“We had a few tyres off the rim like a de-bead. Ott’s second one the wheel rim was fully smashed into, and they’re all model new rims, so it’s not like we aren’t doing the most effective we are able to with them. It’s onerous to inform [what happened], there are such a lot of rocks and every thing. 

“It might have been an affect from ages in the past. If there’s hairline crack which you don’t see in some unspecified time in the future it simply goes. Even Ott mentioned he had no thought what it was, it simply went. I believe that’s half and parcel of the sport.

“If you happen to take a look at Ott he had a damper challenge however that was as a result of the wheel challenge took the damaged canister on the damper so it was sort of associated from that. We didn’t actually have any points in any respect for him. 

“Pierre-Louis had a difficulty with the engine map on the primary stage however the roughness of the stage altered one of many dials on the steering wheel. Then he had a turbo challenge on the final stage however that was because of the mud. Aside from that we now have no points so I believe the reliability is superb. The luck wasn’t with us.”

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Though content material to nonetheless be within the championship combat, Millener the group is constant with the event of upgrades for the Puma, however is uncertain if a homologation joker might be used subsequent month.

“The group are clearly growing some stuff however I don’t know if will probably be prepared,” he added. 

“You may have so few [homologation windows] so you must watch out whenever you use it. We’re at all times growing and we now have been growing dampers and set-ups for the reason that begin of the season. We’re engaged on a couple of issues, however we’ll see. 

“We’re nonetheless displaying the tempo in powerstages so the automotive isn’t to this point manner. We simply have to not have any of those annoying issues that we now have been having initially of rallies.”

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