M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Esapekka Lappi is still in the hunt despite a number of small mistakes on Saturday in the final round of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship season, the ACI Rally Monza. The Finn ended the day in fourth place overall and speaking following the action he commented saying:
Things didn’t go our way this afternoon and we were quite unlucky to be honest. For the first stage of the loop I had the snow tyres on, and then it was cancelled. For the middle stage we had information that the stage was dry, and I took the snow tyres off. And for the last stage of the loop I had the snow tyres on, and it was cancelled again.
“Still I need to be happy with our performance. Our tyre choices have been good, even if the strategy wasn’t perfect, and I’ve really enjoyed driving this car on Tarmac in the forests again.
“We’re not too far away from the podium, but I realise 15 seconds is still quite a big gap at this level. Of course the conditions will be tricky, but everyone already knows what to do and what tyres to choose as I’ve already taught them. But let’s see, and I’ll give it my best.
It was a disappointing day for Gus Greensmith who suffered a spin in tricky conditions with his Fiesta going down a steep embankment with the car being too badly damaged and as result unable to continue into Sunday’s final day of the season. Greensmith and his co-driver Elliott Edmondson were uninjured in the accident and speaking following the action Greensmith said:
Once we got up to speed and into our rhythm things were going pretty well. But that changed this afternoon when we went from having good grip to pure aquaplaning on slush at 155kph. And with that transition of conditions at that speed, we were passengers.
“Thankfully both myself and Elliott are okay, but I’m just sorry for the team. It was such an immediate change in conditions that there was nothing I could do – but I’m still sorry for the guys and girls at M-Sport who have all been working so hard this year.
Adrien Fourmaux ended the day in fourth place in WRC2 and speaking following the action he commented saying:
About 100 metres from where Elfyn went off I was just a little too early on throttle and the rear touched the snow and spun us around. We tapped the mountainside in the spin and damaged the suspension which we had to stop and fix in the stage. It was just a temporary fix but honestly it took me a lot longer than it should and I was a bit disappointed with that.
“The mechanics did a great job to fix the car in the short 15-minute service, and now I just intend to go out there and enjoy driving this car on these last few stages. It’s disappointing of course not to be fighting for the win as I think we had the pace to do that this weekend, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
M-Sport Ford WRC Team Principal Richard Millener commented on Saturday’s action in Monza saying:
It’s been a tricky day out there and one of missed opportunities for the team. Esapekka undoubtedly had the pace to challenge for the win, but we were really unlucky with the stage cancellations and just made one too many little mistakes.
“We made the right choice with the tyres and had the best package for the loop, but weren’t able to use it to our advantage. Having said that, he’s still only 15 seconds away from the podium and, as we’ve already seen this weekend, there’s still all to play for.
“Elsewhere, Gus and Adrien were both really unlucky to be caught out in two particularly tricky corners. They were both driving well – Gus getting closer and closer to the leading times and Adrien having a sensational drive to get back into the lead of WRC 2.
“Unfortunately Gus’ damage was too great to repair, but we’ll get Adrien back out there and hope to see him setting some more impressive times with the Ford Fiesta Rally2.