The M Sport Ford WRC Team can take positives from what has been a difficult weekend at Rally Italia Sardegna.

Teemu Suninen who won the opening stage of the event on Friday came home with a solid fifth place finish following a hand brake issue during the weekend.

Speaking following the action he said:

We started this rally really strongly and had great speed in the slower sections – proving that we can be competitive when the conditions are right. But we also had some small issues and were struggling a bit in the faster sections – meaning that fifth was the best we could do this weekend. Still there are a lot of positives that we can take away, and we’ll focus now on the Tarmac rallies where the Fiesta has always been strong.

Esapekka Lappi retired from the event on the second stage on Friday having finished second.

Gus Greensmith suffered a broken alternator belt and finished in 25th place and speaking following the event he said:

“I think we made some really good steps forward this weekend, and a lot of that was due to the time I spent at M-Sport before the rally. Going through all of the data with my engineer we were able to find a lot of ways to improve and also tried something new with the set-up which gave me a lot more confidence. For me it was definitely one of my better performances. It was pretty disappointing about some of the issues we had, but that’s rallying and we’ve shown that we can fight a lot closer to the top.”

M Sport Ford WRC Team Principal Richard Millener commented following the action saying:

The event couldn’t have got off to a better start, and that time from Teemu was the boost everyone needed. In the right conditions, we’re as competitive as we’ve ever been and that is a big positive for the team right now.

“Teemu should also take a lot of confidence from his performance on that first day. We still have some work to do on the consistency, but the pace is there and that’s something that you can’t teach. We were hoping for a bit more of a fight today, but the championship contenders were pushing so hard and in the end it was just a case of consolidating the position.

“Gus should also be really proud of his performance this weekend – and I would say his best ever drive in a world rally car. He was right there through Friday’s stages and on course for another really strong result before that unlucky impact. Still, I think he really enjoyed this weekend and the improvement is clear to see.”

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