Tue 28 Nov 2023

Millener: Japan crash won't define Adrien's Rally1 future

After a stellar season in which Adrien Fourmaux lifted the British Rally Championship title and helped return the Ford Fiesta Rally2 to the sharpest end of the WRC2, FORUM8 Rally Japan didn’t quite go to plan for the Frenchman.

Back in a Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid for the first time in a year, Fourmaux was hoping for a largely unremarkable event where he showed pace and brought points. Sadly, the sodden conditions on the opening morning put paid to those plans and left him off the road and out of the event.

Sitting alongside Dani Sordo’s similarly stricken Hyundai i20 N Rally1 confirmed the extreme conditions and helped M-Sport Ford team principal Richard Millener’s thought process about Fourmaux’s future in the team.

“We know there was a lot of running water in the middle of the road,” said Millener. “And when he braked he had two wheels in the water and the car snapped away. Dani [Sordo] said Adrien had come to the corner far slower than he had himself and he still went off.

Asked about Fourmaux’s future with the team, Millener added: “We’re not going to consider him just on what happened in Japan.

“He’s had a very strong season. Japan was a real shame that he retired completely [with roll cage damage] instead of being able to reset and go again the next morning.”

M-Sport Ford is working on its line-up for next season, following Ott Tänak’s decision to depart for Hyundai. The Estonian’s team-mate through 2023, Pierre-Louis Loubet could fill one of the official Pumas and Millener admits he’d like to see Fourmaux in a second car.

“I’d like to keep them both,” he said. “They’ve both got experience of the car and working with the team.”

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