Fri 16 Dec 2022

Munster and Fourmaux to mount M-Sport WRC2 charge

M-Sport Ford will field a two-car WRC2 team in 2023 with former top-level driver Adrien Fourmaux being joined by Grégoire Munster in a pair of identical Fiesta cars.

Fourmaux finds himself back in the FIA World Rally Championship’s premier support category having endured a luckless 2022 season at the helm of a Puma Rally1. 

His step back into the hot seat of a Rally2-specification Fiesta is one that comes with plenty of familiarity, as Fourmaux notched up 33 WRC2 stage wins and six WRC2 podiums with the same car between 2019 and 2021. 

Munster, however, is less familiar with Ford machinery and Rallye Monte-Carlo (19 - 22 January) will mark his debut for the blue oval. 

The 23-year-old Luxembourger has been a WRC2 frontrunner this season and claimed his maiden victory at the season-ending FORUM8 Rally Japan aboard a Hyundai i20 N Rally2. 

“I’m really pleased to be part of the team for the fourth year in a row, and I’m looking forward to being back in Monte-Carlo next month,” said Frenchman Fourmaux. “We have the opportunity to do an event with the Fiesta Rally2 just after Christmas which will be perfect preparation for Monte-Carlo.

“I want to say a big thank you to the team for giving me their trust and the opportunity to drive in 2023, and look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”

Munster, son of former Belgian champion Bernard, recently visited M-Sport’s Dovenby Hall base to test the car and view the facilities. He is clearly excited to be joining a team with such a fierce reputation for nurturing young talent. 

“The facilities and infrastructure [at Dovenby] are fantastic; the workshop and the new building are quite impressive. The track was very nice to drive on as well, especially with the icy conditions," he said. 

“The plan for next year is to compete in a lot of events in the Rally2, making use of my previous experience and discovering some events for the first time. I need to adapt to the car and want to perform well and get some good results.

“M-Sport is a real talent factory. If you look at [Elfyn] Evans, [Ott] Tänak and [Thierry] Neuville, they all come from M-Sport. I think it is the best place to evolve as a driver, the team is nice to work with and the car is strong. We have a good season ahead so the focus will be to maximise my work with the team to get some experience and grow as a driver.”

The battle for next year’s WRC2 title is shaping up to be an intense one as several stars have pledged their commitment to the category. Oliver Solberg will drive a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2, as will Czech youngster Erik Cais. Announcements from other manufacturers are also expected in the coming weeks.

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM