Wed 31 Jan 2024

Monte pace brings early boost to M-Sport Ford

M-Sport Ford team principal Richard Millener has said that last week’s season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo offered a further demonstration of the Puma Rally1's continued competitiveness.

M-Sport is running a youthful team this year with Adrien Fourmaux and Grégoire Munster driving factory cars for the whole season. With both drivers still chasing more experience of the WRC’s sharp end, Millener admitted a finish was always the priority for the Gap-based event

The Englishman said: “We came here with a clear goal of getting both cars to the finish, to gain experience with the drivers and to show that we can be competitive this year. I firmly believe we achieved all of this.”

Fourmaux demonstrated great consistency and ran fifth overall for all but one of the 17 stages. The Frenchman posted three top-four times and looked comfortable with his pace for the duration of a rally where he crashed out spectacularly two years previously.

Munster’s first Monte in a Rally1 car was slightly more eventful. He slipped into a ditch on SS3 and went off the road later on Saturday. Between those incidents, he went third-fastest on the penultimate day's opening test.

Millener added: “Both crews each scored a third-fastest time and drove sensibly over what was still a tricky Rallye Monte-Carlo. I am really pleased for both of them, and also the team who, as-ever, worked very hard to get us here and gave us two perfectly reliable cars.

“Of course it was a shame for Grégoire and Louis [Louka, co-driver] on Saturday afternoon but apart from that we can all be very positive heading into Sweden in a couple of weeks’ time.”

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