Friday | 19 Feb 2021

Bertelli kicks-off five-day M-Sport Ford Arctic test

M-Sport Ford has begun its intensive preparations for next week’s Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox (26 - 28 February).

Italian Lorenzo Bertelli makes a welcome return to the FIA World Rally Championship at the Rovaniemi-based event and he completes a two-day test in a Fiesta World Rally Car on Friday.

Teemu Suninen and Gus Greensmith will put the test car through its paces at the weekend, before the focus shifts to Adrien Fourmaux and a day of running in his Fiesta Rally2.

Team principal Richard Millener explained the thinking behind testing closer to the rally start than rivals Toyota and Hyundai, both of whom completed their mileage earlier this month.

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He said: “Testing so close to the event is really good for the drivers as it allows them to have things fresh in their mind and the conditions we have are perfect and, we expect, very representative of the rally.”

“It has been great to see the guys starting what will be quite a long test. It’s fantastic to see Lorenzo back in the car after so long. He will have two days in the car getting back to grips with the WRC car and learning to drive on these conditions again.

“Adrien is another who will have a lot to learn, having little experience on this surface.”

Millener added the test was key to ensuring the drivers arrived at next week’s start in confident mood after Suninen crashed out on the opening stage of last month’s Rallye Monte-Carlo and Greensmith struggled to find his feet in complicated conditions.

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“The test is obviously to tweak the car set-up,” said Millener, “but at the same time we will use it for both drivers to get their confidence back to full levels after the tricky event that was Monte-Carlo.”

• Full coverage from Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.