The M Sport Ford WRC team head to Rally GB Wales looking forward to getting into the action at home. M Sport go into the event in fourth place in the manufacturers championship on 184 points. Speaking ahead of the event Team Principal Richard Millener said:
“I have been looking forward to this one all year. There’s always something special about competing at home, and this was the first WRC event I ever watched – so to come here looking after the team is a really special experience for me.
“It’s also fantastic to have Elfyn back with us. Teemu came into his own in Germany and Turkey, but there’s nothing quite like Elfyn’s experience – especially in Wales – and it’s a big boost for us all to have him here.
“All three drivers have a pretty good track record in the Welsh forests. Teemu won the event as part of the WRC 2 Championship in 2015, and Pontus has never finished lower than second in class – securing his own WRC 2 victory in 2017. And as for Elfyn, well we all know what he is capable of at home!
“It’s a tough event for everyone with incredibly long days that test the team as well as the crews, but if we can maintain focus I see no reason why we can’t be challenging for the top results. There’s a lot of ambition to do well next week, and we’ll be working hard to deliver another strong result on home soil.
Elfyn Evan’s goes into his home event aiming to add to his 2017 victory following what has been a difficult and disappointing season to date. Evan’s goes into the event in ninth place in the championship on 78 points and speaking ahead of the event he said:
“I’m really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel – especially as it’s on home soil in Wales. This event is the highlight of my year, every year, and when you get it right in front of all those Welsh flags it’s an incredible feeling.
“We have some of the best stages in the world in Wales, and it’s a proper challenge for the crews – especially if the Welsh weather has anything to say about it which I think it probably will next week. In those tricky conditions the grip levels are constantly changing and you have to be able to read the road if you want to push for the top results.
“We might have been away for a few months, but my motivation is as high as it ever was. We’ve had a good test, and I feel like we’re well prepared for the challenges ahead. And the goal, as always, is to push for the top results.”
Teemu Suninen is currently in seventh place in the championship on 83 points and speaking ahead of the rally he said:
I really like this rally and have done well there in the past. I didn’t have a lot of experience of the stages last year, but I was really pleased with my performance – setting some good times and running in podium position before having to retire. So the goal this year will be to continue that performance, and see if we can challenge for the top positions.
“We completed a full day of testing in Greystoke and, even though the base there is a bit harder than what we’ll see in Wales, I think we manged to find a good set-up and will be able to deliver a good performance on these challenging stages.
“Maybe the biggest challenge though is the lack of sleep. Probably we will only get about four or five hours a night – and the road sections to the first stage can be pretty long. It will be physically and mentally challenging to stay alert in those first stages, but that is all part of the challenge in Wales.”