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Thu 10 Mar 2022

M-Sport unlikely to test Puma on national rallies

M-Sport Ford team principal Richard Millener admits the chances of the Puma Rally1 appearing on national rallies to assist development of the all-new car are currently slim.

With testing limited by FIA World Rally Championship regulations, teams competing in the series have used smaller events to run their cars in an aid to the test days available.

Millener said: “There is probably some advantages in national events, but personally my opinion is that a national event is nice to get a bit of seat time in the car.

“It’s difficult to do any proper testing or set-up work on those events because you’re going between the stages. And, regardless of what you tell your drivers, they will compare times and move into a more competitive mode than on a test.

“There are occasions when it will make sense to look at a national rally, but at this moment in time I think we’re only going to be looking at testing.”

Hyundai Motorsport and Toyota Gazoo Racing have both competed on national events in recent years and both have admitted their thoughts are in line with those of Millener: they will only consider it later in the season.

Millener himself will take the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R2 at Saturday’s Malcolm Wilson Rally – a national event which runs in the English Lake District close to M-Sport’s Dovenby Hall base. Millener has not competed since 2020.

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