The M-Sport Ford WRC Team had a dream start to the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship season in Monte Carlo on Sunday as Sebastien Loeb, the seven-rime championship became the oldest rally driver to win the opening event of the season at the age of 47.
Speaking following the action he said:
I’m really happy, I didn’t expect so much. When I came here I didn’t really know what to expect, I was just hoping I would be in a good rhythm and able to fight with the guys in the front. In the end it was more than we expected, we were able to fight with Ogier to boast for the win, and to finally win the rally at the end like this is just amazing.
“It comes ten years after my last championship, I haven’t done too many rallies since then, so to still be able to fight is just a great moment and I’m really proud of what we did. With Isabelle it was a very good weekend, she did a good job. The feeling with the car has been good since my first test and that gave me some confidence, but I didn’t really know what level I would be at, but now we have the confirmation that we are able to fight at the front so it’s just exceptional for us. A big thanks to all the team, they did a great job and the car was perfect all weekend, so a big thank you to everybody.
It was the M-Sport Ford WRC Team’s first win since the 2018 season-ending Rally GB.
Craig Breen came home in third place and speaking following the action the Irishman said:
“Obviously really happy with how the weekend went, perhaps not the strongest of weekends pace-wise, but we really settled into the car with every stage. Ultimately today we definitely found our feet, our pace was really good, and we managed to bring home a podium result. It’s great for the team, great to get two cars on the podium, and looking forward to Sweden now.”
Gus Greensmith, who scored his fist WRC stage win this weekend came home in fifth place and speaking following the action he said:
“Really happy with the weekend, a one-three-five for the team so pretty much the perfect start for the year. We definitely had the potential to fight for the podium this weekend, so we can use that as great encouragement for the rest of the year. Obviously the highlight was taking the maiden stage win for my career, the car is weapon and its been brilliant. I’m really happy for all the guys and girls for all the hard work they’ve put in. We’ve got this result, so let’s move forward.”
Adrien Fourmaux was really disappointed after being forced to retire from the event and speaking following the action he said:
It’s really disappointing for all the team, it’s not what I wanted for them after the hard work they put in over Christmas. It was a mistake with big consequences, and I paid the price. So I’ll do my best to try to fix that, and try to make sure that mistake doesn’t happen again.
“The car was amazing. I’m very happy with the feeling in the car, the guys have done a really good job. It is a really good result coming from Séb, Craig and Gus, and with all the work over the last two years to prepare for 2022, it is really great for the team.”
Team Principal at M-Sport, Rich Millener commented saying:
“Obviously I’m incredibly happy. To put everything together and for everyone to be so stressed out and busy working, just trying to get everything in place to build up to what is an incredibly tough rally, and to do so well, is fantastic for the team and all the drivers. It’s a dream result that will take a while to sink in, and we’re going to enjoy it while we can. I want to thank everybody, including all our friends from Ford, the M-Sport team, the drivers and the sponsors who made this happen. Without them, we simply couldn’t do it.”