The M-Sport Ford World Rally Team head to Croatia next weekend aiming for a strong event. Adrien Fourmaux will make his FIA World Rally Championship debut in Croatia alongside Gus Greensmith and speaking ahead of the event next weekend, M-Sport WRC Team Principal, Richard Millener commented saying:
“It feels like a long time since we’ve been rallying, and I think everyone is looking forward to travelling to Rally Croatia. There’s something special about experiencing a new event for the first time, and next week will be no exception. I’m excited to see what the stages will be like, as I’m sure the drivers are too, and we’re all keen to get the season back underway with a positive result.
“Next week’s event will be a real rally of debuts for us – Gus benefitting from the experience of Chris Patterson in the co-driver’s seat and Adrien taking to the wheel of the Fiesta WRC for the first time at this level. We’ll also have the engine upgrade in both cars – producing more power at the top end and boosting the confidence of both drivers on a surface which they and we tend to perform well.
“We’re carrying out our pre-event test on location this weekend, and plan for Gus and Adrien to each complete a day and a half behind the wheel – getting familiar with the performance of Pirelli’s P Zero tyres and dialling the cars into the Croatian asphalt.
“It’s also good to have Teemu and Tom with us in WRC 2. We’re trying to support Teemu as much as we can with as many outings as possible, and we’re pleased to see Tom join the team after winning the FIA Junior WRC Championship last year. His progress is a great example of our Ladder of Opportunity, and it’s fantastic to see so many aspects of that initiative in action next week – something that’s only strengthened by the fact 41 percent of the entry will be behind the wheel of a Ford
Joining forces with a new co-driver at next week’s Rally Croatia, Gus Greensmith will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of experienced navigator Chris Patterson. Learning from the Irishman, Greensmith aims to soak up those small details that only come with experience – invigorating his start to the season with a positive performance on a surface he and the Fiesta have historically enjoyed.
Speaking ahead of the event next weekend, Greensmith commented saying:
I’m really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel and with Chris sitting alongside it feels like a completely fresh start to the season. I want to thank Elliott for the time we spent together. He’s a great co-driver and a good friend, but at this point in my career I can only benefit from the experience someone like Chris will bring to the car. It’s all about ironing out those small mistakes, and with his help I believe I can do that.
“We’ve already spent quite a few days together in the workshop and going through the pacenotes, but this weekend’s test will be our first time sitting together in the rally car. It will take some time to get used to one another, but he’s been great to work with so far and I can already see that experience coming to the fore with ideas and suggestions about what we can do to improve.
“Hopefully that will all come together for a strong result next week. I want to deliver a consistent performance with no mistakes, and I see no reason why we won’t be able to do that. We know that the Fiesta is a quick car on Tarmac which automatically gives you that extra bit of confidence, and the new engine will make a positive difference as well
Adrien Fourmaux commented saying:
I’m really excited to take this next step in my career and want to thank M-Sport and Red Bull for the opportunity; as well as the FFSA and all my partners, family and supporters – because without all of them I wouldn’t be here today!
“This won’t be my first time behind the wheel of the Fiesta WRC as we drove it at Rallylegend last year and also at the pre-event test for Arctic Rally – but this will be my first time driving against the world’s best drivers in the FIA World Rally Championship.
“There will be a lot to learn, but I’m really looking forward to it and will focus on gaining as much knowledge and experience as I can.
“We have a pre-event test this weekend to really get to grips with the car and dial into the Croatian roads which will be completely new to everyone. From what I’ve seen, the stages look really interesting – fast and narrow and quite technical in places. It’s going to be a big challenge, but one that I’m excited to experience.
“I’m looking forward to rallying on pure asphalt again and even more so behind the wheel of this car! I can’t wait to get started and am looking forward to seeing where we are and how we can improve throughout the weekend
Teemu Suninen commented saying:
It’s great to be competing at next week’s Rally Croatia. This event wasn’t on my calendar at the start of the year, and I want to thank Malcolm and Rich for finding a way for me to compete. The more time I get behind the wheel of any rally car the better, and I’m looking forward to experiencing this new event and discovering the Croatian stages.
“Of course the WRC 2 category is really competitive at the moment and I’ve not driven the Fiesta Rally2 in a really long time – but it’s all good experience and I’m looking forward to the challenge and what I hope will be a really good battle at the head of the field. It will also be good to rediscover a car without centre differential – so that I can be ready for any 2022 testing the team might need in the coming months.