M Sport Ford WRC team’s Esapekka Lappi was delighted with the outcome of the opening FIA World Rally Championship event of the 2020 season.
The Finn ended Rallye Monte Carlo in fourth place after a strong fight with nine time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb.
Speaking following the rally he said:
This is my best result from Monte and I think the best we could have done this weekend, so I am really happy with that. I managed to concentrate only on myself and what we were doing, and that seemed to work pretty well. It was a very challenging event and not always so easy, but we improved stage by stage and learnt a lot over the course of the weekend – so I’d say it’s been a positive start to the season.”
Teemu Suninen in the sister Fiesta WRC EccoBoost had a great day as he came home in eighth place overall and scored three extra bonus points in the championship for the third fastest time through the power stage.
Speaking following the action, the Finn said:
When the conditions were dry or wet I was really pleased with my pace on those sections, and we showed that again on the Power Stage today – setting the third fastest time and two fastest splits. But on the icy sections we were losing a lot and I have some work to do to be more consistent there. It’s good that I can set strong times on an event like this, but I need more experience to do it all the time.”
M Sport Ford WRC team principal Richard Milener was delighted with the result saying:
“We’re coming away from this one with a really strong result – especially when you consider where we were on Thursday night. It was great to see Esapekka gaining confidence and coming out on top in the battle with Loeb. Fourth was the best we could have done this weekend, and he focused on himself to get the job done.
“It was also pretty satisfying to see Teemu split the top-three on the Power Stage. You could see from the splits that he had the pace when the conditions were more consistent, and he proved that again this afternoon. It’s been a solid start, and I think the team can be really proud of the way they picked themselves up after the initial disappointment at the beginning of the weekend.”
Next up is Rally Sweden which takes place from February 13 to 16.