Wed 11 Oct 2023

Heller: Chile was not a one-off

Alberto Heller is hoping to return to a Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid more often, following on from his home round debut in Rally1 machinery when the FIA World Rally Championship visited Chile last month.

The South American star completed Rally Chile Bio Bío despite his lack of experience of competing at the sport’s highest level. He is targeting further outings in the Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid, but admits more preparation time would help him get the best out of the experience.

Current WRC regulations prohibit the teams testing outside of Europe, but Heller flew to Britain to drive the car at M-Sport’s test facility ahead of the event.


“Driving this car was amazing,” he said. “But it’s not so easy - especially when you are operating the road like I was on Saturday and Sunday. My goal was to reach the finish without any trouble and give the car back to M-Sport like they gave it to me - I did that.

“Rally Chile was magic, to have the WRC coming to my country and to my city was really something special and I would love to come back and to repeat that again - it was sad when we finished the last stage and the rally was over. We want to repeat [what we did] here in Chile, but next time I would maybe add a few more events to help to prepare a little bit better.

“To come to compete in this car after one small test was not so easy. One thing is sure, if we come back and do it again, we do it with the same team and the same guys - the relationship with M-Sport is really good.

Heller finished the event 15th after suffering a double puncture on SS9. He posted several top-10 times through the weekend, including seventh quickest from the front of the field on Saturday morning.

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 8:30:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 9:30:00 AM