Thu 30 Mar 2023

Loubet feels ‘good’ in M-Sport Ford Puma

Pierre-Louis Loubet has expressed confidence in his M-Sport Ford Puma, despite team-mate Ott Tänak admitting to feeling out of sync with the car on gravel.

Tänak won the second round of this year's championship in Sweden but, following the opening gravel round at Guanajuato Rally México earlier this month, described himself as 'a mis-match' for his Puma.

Loubet, who has been with the British squad since last season, had a challenging outing in Mexico, retiring on two consecutive days due to suspension and steering damage.

However, the Frenchman has described his situation as being "a little bit different" from Tänak's, adding that he feels comfortable aboard the car.

"From my side, it's a bit different because I have always felt good in the car," he said. "The thing is, from the beginning of the season, we have not been able to put everything together to achieve a good result.

“If you look at shakedown or our speed on Thursday [in Mexico] before the retirement, the speed was really good. From my side, the feeling in the car is still very good - we just need to have a clean rally without any problems."

Loubet has previously stated his ambition to push for podiums on rough gravel rallies such as Italy and Greece. However, the 26-year-old believes he can also be competitive at next month's Croatia Rally, which takes place on asphalt from 20 - 23 April.

"The speed will be there," he said. "In Monte-Carlo, the speed on Tarmac was good, but unfortunately, like in Mexico, we were not able to put it all together.

“We know that the car is strong on Tarmac, so I hope that Croatia will be good. But for sure, we will go in Portugal and Sardinia - two rallies I know very well and I hope to do some good results there.”

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