Motorsport News WRC

Loubet Joins M-Sport For Seven WRC Events

The M-Sport Ford WRC Team announced on Friday that French driver Pierre Louis Loubet has joined the outfit for seven FIA World Rally Championship events in 2022 starting with Rally Croatia.

Speaking about the news, Loubet said:

To be part of the team this year is so amazing! The team showed its performance on Monte Carlo, the Puma looks like a beast, it’s really great! When you are a driver, you want to be in the best car, you want the best possible way to show your potential which is what I need for this season. It’s a crucial season for me and, I know with M-Sport, I will have everything I need to do well.

“It’s a bit of a dream come true, every driver wants to be in the best car in his career, it’s happening for me now in just my second full season of WRC. I am super happy, I would like to give a big thank you to Malcolm and Rich as well as my partner Alexander who all made this possible. I am sure we will do great things together and I hope I will be able to show my real potential.”

Loubet joins M-Sport regulars Craig Breen and Gus Greensmith.

Speaking about the announcement, Marholm Wilson OBE, Managing Director of M-Sport said:

Promoting and developing young talent has always been a core element of M-Sport’s WRC programmes and Pierre joining us at the top level is another example of that. We stayed in contact with him after his season with us in 2017 and he has impressed me a lot since then. Winning the 2019 WRC2 Championship is a particularly strong achievement and to go straight into WRC from there is a big step which he has taken in his stride. I will be keeping a close eye on his progress throughout this year, we know what the Puma is capable of and I am sure we are going to see Pierre shine with these opportunities.”

M-Sport Ford had a fantastic start to the 2022 WRC season as Sebastien Loeb took victory while Craig Breen finished third.

M-Sport Ford WRC Team Principal Richard Millener said:

It is fantastic to welcome another friendly face back to the M-Sport team. I worked with Pierre when he was driving a Fiesta R5 in WRC2 and he was a great person to have around.

“He has gained lots of valuable experience in many different cars over the past couple of seasons and I am really looking forward to seeing him show off his improvement in the Puma Hybrid Rally1. It is also fantastic for the sport to see another young and upcoming talent competing consistently at the highest level in these exciting new cars.”

Media Interest News WRC

A Dream Start For M-Sport

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.”

Motorsport News WRC

Not Just A Maths Teacher, A Rally Winning One!

The M-Sport Ford WRC Team had the perfect response to a tweet from Top Gear on Sunday after Sebastien Loeb and his co-driver Isabelle Galmiche, who happens to be maths teacher took victory in 2022 FIA World Rally Championship season-opening Monte Carlo rally.

Top Gear tweeted:

Motorsport News WRC

Loeb Makes History In Monte Carlo

M-Sport Ford WRC Team’s Sebastien Loeb made history in Monte Carlo on Sunday becoming the oldest rally driver to win the FIA World Rally Championship season-opener at the age of 47.

Speaking following the rally the Frenchman said:

I didn’t expect so much when I came here,” “It was a great fight, Ogier was really fast and I struggled a bit yesterday and even this morning.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Sebastian Ogier who led the early stages of the event was second overall, 10.5s behind Loeb and speaking flowing the action he said:

It has been a huge joy to compete in this special rally again and to be in this incredible fight. This weekend we don’t come out as the winner but we can definitely keep our head up. Together with Benjamin and the team we did the job. We have done a great performance over the weekend and there were no issues on the car, which is a fantastic achievement. Fate decided differently today but I’m still smiling and I still enjoyed this fight very much. Honestly I feel there was nothing I could do about what happened on the penultimate stage. It was a cut I avoided on the first pass but on the second pass it was impossible to avoid, it was very dirty and I had to follow the line of the others. But well done to Sébastien and Isabelle for the victory, they have done a remarkable performance and it was a very tough fight. It’s been a good weekend for the sport.”

Irelamd’s Craig Breen rounded out the podium in third and in doing so, he and Paul Nagle have given M-Sport an early lead in the Manufacturers’ championship.

Breen said:

Kalle Rovanpera was fourth just ahead Gus Greensmith who took his maiden rally stage win this weekend while Thierry Neuville rounded out the top six.

“At the end of this rally, we are left with feelings of disappointment and frustration. We had a tough weekend. I drove for my life in the Power Stage, I gave it absolutely everything, so I was disappointed with the time. There has been a huge amount of work behind the scenes to prepare for this event, from me and Martijn, as well as the team, so to come away without any reward is hard to accept. We won’t give up. We are trying to keep everyone motivated and we will continue pushing. The will is definitely there and that’s important. There are different areas we are going to work on but most important is the reliability. We need to be much stronger for the upcoming events

Thierry Neuville
Motorsport News WRC

Breen Moves Into The Top Three In Monte

M-Sport Ford WRC Team’s Craig Breen has moved into the top three following the morning loop at Rally Monte Carlo on Saturday.

Been and his co-driver Paul Nagle made steady progress on day one of the opening event of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship season.

M-Sport made some changes to car overnight which have had a great impact on Breen’s performance.

The Irishman is just behind his team-mate Sebastian Loeb and is just one minute and seven second behind rally leader Sebastian Ogier.

Motorsport News Sport WRC

It Is Important That The New Era Of WRC Reflects Our Industry’s Shift To Electrification

Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Performance says that it is important that the new hybrid technology era that begins with this weekend’s 2022 season-opening Rally Monte Carlo reflects the motoring industry’s shift electrification.

Speaking as the M-Sport Ford WRC Team revealed their Puma Rally1 EccoBoost WRC car he said:

“One of the most captivating aspects of WRC down the years has been the clear link between the ultra-high performance rally cars and their road-going equivalents. “That’s why it’s so important that this new era of WRC reflects our industry’s shift to electrification. At Ford, we’re fully committed to an electrified future, and campaigning the M-Sport Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 car in the toughest conditions is going to help us develop even more exciting electrified powertrains for our customers.”

Powered using similar principles to the Puma EcoBoost Hybrid road car on which it is based, 1 the new M‑Sport Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 is Ford’s first electrified competition car. A next-generation hybrid powertrain captures energy during braking and coasting, and stores it in a 3.9 kWh battery. The energy is then used to supplement the championship-winning performance of the turbocharged 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine with repeated boosts of up to three seconds from a 100 kW electric motor.

M-Sport and Ford are celebrating 25 years together in the FIA World Rally Championship and speaking about their partnership, M-Sport Ford WRC Team Principal Richard Millener said:

It has been a very busy time getting the cars and team ready for next weekend’s Monte Carlo Rally and the opening of the 2022 World Rally Championship season, but one that will be worth the effort. “With the help and support of Ford colleagues all over the globe we have produced a fantastic car with huge potential and we cannot wait to showcase it during the year. A big thank you to everyone involved with getting to this stage and helping us meet such tight deadlines and we feel very proud to represent Ford on the world stage in our 25th year of partnership!