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Wed 27 Jul 2022

M-Sport Ford confident in Fiesta Rally2 upgrades

M-Sport Ford team principal Richard Millener is confident improvements to its Ford Fiesta Rally2 will keep the car competitive in the FIA World Rally Championship’s WRC2 category this season.

Jari Huttunen drove the upgraded car to fourth in the series’ premier support category at Rally Estonia earlier this month.

It featured revised aerodynamics, which included a reworked rear wing with a longer end plate connecting to the rear of the car and dividers in the middle of the wing. The wing mirrors were also altered, looking more like those used on the team’s top-tier Puma Rally1.

In addition to the aero, a new suspension package was introduced to improve the car’s fast gravel handling.

Huttunen led WRC2 after the opening stage and set a second fastest time later in the four-day rally, but hit trouble in the opening leg which masked the car’s potential.

“The feedback on the changes we had from Jari [Huttunen] was all positive,” said Millener. “The issues we had on the Friday were unrelated to any of the changes we’ve made to the bits in the car.

“We’re happy with the speed Jari and the car were able to show when everything was running well. On a fast rally like Estonia, when you drop sometimes it can be really difficult to pull it back.

“That’s what happened in Estonia, but we’re confident in those parts and we know the car’s going to have the speed it needs [to fight].”

Huttunen parks the Fiesta for next month’s Secto Rally Finland (4 - 7 August). The Finn makes his first appearance in the WRC’s top-tier in one of M-Sport Ford’s five hybrid-powered Pumas. Craig Breen, Adrien Fourmaux, Gus Greensmith and Pierre-Louis Loubet steer the others.

M-Sport has not entered a WRC2 car for the event, although Czech driver Martin Prokop will field a privately-run Fiesta.

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