The M Sport Ford WRC Team of Esapekka Lappi, Teemu Suninen and Gus Greensmith are excited to get the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship season underway. The team and drivers took part in the unveiling of their brand new livery at Autosport International last week and with that and testing over and done with it is time to get down to business.
Speaking ahead of next weekend’s Rallye Monte Carlo, Team Principal Richard Millener said:
I’m really looking forward to this season and excited to see what we can do over the next 12 months. We’ve got a young team, but it’s also a very experienced and ambitious one and I think we have every chance of bringing home some victories this year.
“There’s no tougher start than Rallye Monte-Carlo, but we’re definitely up for the fight. And looking at some of the videos from our pre-event test, Esapekka, Teemu and Gus are fairly rapid behind the wheel of the Fiesta – so I’d say we have as good a chance as anyone when it comes to securing a strong result next week.”
In four previous starts in Monte Carlo, Esapekka Lappi has a best finish of seventh place which came in 2018 and speaking about the event next weekend he said:
“Monte-Carlo is always a tricky start to the season, but I’m looking forward to getting started. Straight away the Fiesta felt very logical and easy to drive, and that always gives a driver a lot of confidence. I hope I’ll be able to use that confidence next week, but Monte is always a challenge and you never know what to expect.
“We had wet roads on the test and the car felt good in those changing conditions. But in Monte you can have wet roads, dry roads, icy roads, full snow, and sometimes all of that in the same stage! You have to give this rally a lot of respect, but that’s what we plan to do and we want to get this new partnership off to a strong start next week.”
Teemu Suninen has has three previous starts here with his best finish of 11th place coming last season and speaking ahead of the event he said:
“I’m really looking forward to this season and straight away I could see that Esapekka and I would work well together. We had a very similar set-up on the test, and it looks like we want to take the car in the same direction.
“I tested on dry asphalt and had a really good feeling, but for the more tricky sections where there is a lot of ice and snow I will have to rely on my experience. This is my fourth time in Monte so I’m starting to know the stages a bit better. The rally is always a lottery, but I have a very experienced gravel crew who I trust 100 percent – so anything is possible!”
Gus Greensmith has a best finish here of seventh and speaking about the event he said:
“Monte is a special one for me. It’s where I claimed my first victory, and there’s no other rally than gives me more satisfaction behind the wheel. Knowing that I will drive these amazing stages with the Ford Fiesta WRC this year is beyond my wildest dreams!
“Everyone wants to win here, and the changing conditions make it one of the biggest challenges on the calendar. The smallest mistakes pay a heavy price, but I do think this is a strong event for me. I’ve always relished tricky conditions, but experience is something you need here too. I’ll have to make up for that, and hope to produce a strong performance to kick off this 2020 season.”