The M-Sport Ford WRC Team had a dreadful opening day to Rally Ypres in Belgium on Friday which resulted in both Gus Greensmith and Adrien Fourmaux having been forced to retire from the day’s action after going off course. Speaking following the action, Gus Greensmith commented saying:
“This event is completely unique and we made a few setup changes with each passing stage to get more comfortable. Things were feeling better and better and I felt increasingly confident in the car but sadly the day ended too soon and it will be back to the drawing board tonight and to try to take as much experience as we can through the weekend.”
Adrien Fourmaux commented on his day saying:
We have a small headache and some pain in the legs and my foot but basically all okay. Honestly, it was just the corner tightening but it was still flat, it said in the pacenote that it was flat corner but there was a bit of dirt and we just oversteered a little bit and then just hit something in the ditch and the car was gone.
“It’s nearly my home rally of course and it’s a big disappointment with so many friends and family here but for sure it’s also the downside of this sport that this sort of thing can happen. There is always something to learn and for sure we have to analyse a little bit more. It’s a shame we were just 500 metres from the end of the stage but we will have a lot to learn.
M-Sport Ford WRC Team Principal Richard Millener commented saying:
It’s been a character-building day for the entire team, which has worked so hard throughout testing prior to the event to get enough experience to give ourselves the best chance possible.
“Sadly, Adrien’s car is not repairable, it suffered a very big series of impacts and he is going to have to retire from the event. It was difficult to tell from the television and the information that we received initially, which gave us some hope, but having now given the car a thorough inspection it is clear that there isn’t any way to get him underway again this weekend.
“Adrien was really committed to that particular corner and there was some dirt on the road from farm traffic which sent the car out from under them. When you’re competing against the top guys in the world and you have to push, and a lot of our competitors have more experience of this event, it is just a very unfortunate way for his event to finish.
“Adrien and Gus have been working with some experienced veterans of this event during the build-up to try and give themselves the best chance but when things like this unfold there is so little time to correct and really they were just passengers on this occasion.
“Gus was also very unlucky with having his incident at the start of the stage. We’ve seen a lot of people sliding into ditches already this weekend. It’s very frustrating, but once you get into the ditches there’s very little chance of getting out unassisted but at least he should be able to restart tomorrow.
“Our priority now has to be to get Gus, Teemu and Tom back out into the action tomorrow and to see how the weekend develops while they gain that all-important experience of this unique event.