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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Younger WRC driver line-up will be aggressive in 2024

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The Ford squad is but to substantiate its plans for subsequent season, however ought to it proceed in rallying’s prime tier, the squad should discipline a modified driver line-up following Ott Tanak’s determination to re-join Hyundai for 2024.

This season the workforce elected to reduce from working three to 2 full-time Ford Puma entries for Tanak and Pierre-Louis Loubet, though the latter will sit out this weekend’s season finale in Japan, in favour of Adrien Fourmaux

M-Sport has nevertheless fielded personal entries for Jourdan Serderidis (Monte Carlo, Mexico, Kenya, Greece), Gregoire Munster (Chile, Central European Rally) and Alberto Heller (Chile).

The workforce is presently assessing choices with its companions and potential drivers because it weighs up plans for subsequent yr, however Millener has beforehand instructed {that a} younger driver line-up is most probably.

Millener says Loubet, Fourmaux and Munster are among the many checklist of potential candidates. Loubet has endured a tough first full-time WRC marketing campaign recording two sixths as his greatest finishes, whereas Munster, driving the Serderidis-owned entry, has proven promising tempo in each his Rally1 outings since stepping up from Rally2.

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Fourmaux has additionally impressed in Rally2 after profitable the second tier class finally month’s Central European Rally, in addition to claiming the British Rally Championship title.

Picture by: M-Sport

Wealthy Millener, Workforce principal M-Sport Ford Rally

“They’re the three drivers that may clearly come to thoughts as people who we might take a look at as they’ve expertise within the automobile,” Millener advised Autosport/Motorsport.com.

“We’ve nonetheless acquired some work to do to verify the budgets can be found to be there subsequent yr, however I feel if we run the juniors extra constantly, we have now proven what they’ll do and I feel that’s the purpose.

“I do assume there may be podiums obtainable for all of them if they’re smart with their drives. Successful outright might be one other step on, however there isn’t a motive why we are able to’t be aggressive.”

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At this level final season, M-Sport held talks with Oliver Solberg relating to a possible collaboration for this yr. On paper, it could appear the Monster Vitality-backed 22-year-old, who has scored two WRC2 wins this yr, would once more be a great match for 2024.

But it surely seems a possible transfer for 2023 was sophisticated by M-Sport’s backing from power drinks agency Pink Bull. Millener says the workforce is in discussions to proceed its affiliation with the model for subsequent yr, though a deal is but to be realised.

“We wish to proceed with them [Red Bull] and there’s a purpose to proceed collectively however we’re nonetheless in discussions relating to what is feasible,” Millener added. 

“Pink Bull, like all companions, are all desirous about efficiency, however we have now to be sensible on the place we will be.”

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