The British squad took the covers off its 2024 Puma at last week’s Autosport International earlier than embarking on its first pre-event check of the season forward of the Monte Carlo curtain raiser (25-28 January) final weekend.
M-Sport scored two wins final yr, matching rivals Hyundai, after Ott Tanak triumphed in Sweden and Chile, however a run of reliability points (engine in Estonia and Finland plus water pump in Greece) hampered the staff within the mid-season and ended any hopes of a title push.
Though unable to match the sources of manufacturing facility squads Toyota and Hyundai, M-Sport plans to proceed creating its Puma this season. A brand new rear wing has been seen in motion throughout Sunday’s Monte Carlo check and is predicted to return on-line later within the yr.
Staff principal Richard Millener says the rear wing is a part of M-Sport’s growth plan that features fixing its reliability woes of 2023.
“We’ll nonetheless be creating the automotive, and we’ve a growth plan,” Millener advised Autosport.
“There are a restricted quantity of developments every staff can do, however our plan is to do as a lot as we’re allowed. I learn a variety of stuff about us not creating and never testing, which isn’t the case. We’re most likely giving our drivers probably the most testing as each our drivers may have two days every earlier than Monte Carlo.
“We’re doing the whole lot we will. We’re engaged on a brand new rear wing, which individuals have seen, that may are available in just a few rallies time, so we’re nonetheless pushing forward. It’s troublesome to compete towards the others, however I don’t use that as an excuse as a result of we nonetheless received two rallies final yr, so the automotive is nice sufficient to win.
Photograph by: M-Sport
M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1
“There was a fruits of fully various things final yr that got here collectively, and we had a run of two or three dangerous rallies, and that’s what price our championship hopes.
“We all know we have to get higher at that and reliability price us regardless of the explanations for the reliability being very totally different. We all know we have to get higher at that, and we’ve promised that this is among the essential issues we’re engaged on to get proper. We all know we will do this because the earlier season  the automotive was good, we simply must get again to there.”
This season M-Sport will welcome a brand new driver line-up with Adrien Fourmaux and Gregoire Munster receiving a promotion from the staff’s WRC2 squad. The pair substitute Tanak, who has rejoined Hyundai, whereas Pierre-Louis Loubet has secured a Rally2 programme with the Toksport Skoda staff.
Fourmaux jumped behind the wheel of the Puma for a pre-event check on Sunday and Monday, earlier than handing over the automotive to team-mate Munster. Toyota and Hyundai accomplished their Monte Carlo assessments final week.