Wed 06 Mar 2024

Fourmaux: Choosing rallying over medicine

M-Sport Ford star Adrien Fourmaux has revealed how his parents shed tears when he first informed them of his desire to pursue a career in the world of rallying.

Seven years ago, Fourmaux was on the path to becoming a fully qualified doctor when he found himself redirected onto an entirely different career trajectory. The Frenchman, now 28, clinched victory in the FFSA’s Rallye Jeunes competition in 2016, joining the likes of Sébastien Loeb and Sébastien Ogier as fellow winners of the talent-spotting programme.

While the prize included the keys to a Ford Fiesta R2T for the 2017 French Junior Championship, it also came with a cost. For Fourmaux, pursuing rallying meant his studies would have to take a back seat – a decision that required some explanation to his family, who had no prior involvement in motorsport.

“When I came back with the big trophy from Rallye Jeunes, I saw my parents and they were both crying,” Fourmaux told Rally.TV’s Becs Williams in the latest captivating latest edition of the WRC Backstories podcast.

“They were not happy. It was something that was completely unknown in this family, as they didn’t know this sport [of rallying] and they didn’t know how it works. I had like an easy life in front of me – like, ‘he will be a doctor, it doesn’t matter,’ and then now I want to that.”

Initially, Fourmaux attempted to juggle his studies with his sporting pursuits, but as he found more success on the rally stages, balancing the demands of both became nearly impossible.

“For a while I had to do rallying and medicine at the same time, to try to make [my parents] a bit happy,” he revealed. “It was also too risky for me because rallying is an uncertain career.

“I was in my fourth year [of studying] when I got the access with Rallye Jeunes, and then the year after I was still in my fourth year. The year after, I had a nice chat with my university and they said that I can be a doctor if I come back later, but for the sport I have to go now. Now it’s time me you to go full-time in my sport and, if it doesn’t work, I can come back.”

Fourmaux's decision to fully embrace rallying soon bore fruit when, after participating in selected WRC2 and WRC3 rounds with the FFSA in 2020, he was enlisted by Malcolm Wilson to join M-Sport Ford’s top-flight line-up the following season. More recently, any tears shed by his parents were ones of joy when he secured his maiden WRC podium in Sweden last month.

During the hour-long WRC Backstories podcast, Fourmaux delves into his journey into rallying and his career thus far. From an impressive P5 finish on his World Rally Car debut to a season focused on rebuilding confidence in WRC2, Fourmaux shares it all. Listen now on Spotify, Apple, or here.

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