M-Sport is thrilled has confirmed that Adrien Fourmaux and Sébastien Loeb will join Craig Breen and Gus Greensmith in Monte Carlo, in a fleet of all-new Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 cars.
Frenchman Fourmaux joins Breen and Greensmith to form M-Sport’s trio of drivers for a full 2022 World Rally Championship campaign as the sport enters its new and excitng hybrid era.
Fourmaux began his rally career a mere five years ago, making a meteoric rise through the WRC ranks since his debut in 2019. His first season in WRC2, behind the wheel of an M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally2, brought him two podium finishes at Rallye Monte Carlo (third) and Rally GB (second).
The 2021 season saw Fourmaux graduate into the Ford Fiesta WRC on Croatia Rally, where he achieved a career best of fifth overall. There was also cause for celebration at Safari Rally Kenya when Fourmaux claimed his first WRC stage win by a very comfortable 4.1 seconds. Consistently setting competitive times throughout the season, the young driver has been dubbed a rising star and on track to follow in the footsteps of his fellow successful countrymen.
Having been heavily involved in the testing programme for the all new Puma Hybrid Rally1 from the beginning, Fourmaux is in a perfect position to start his debut full WRC programme in the best possible form.
Sébastien Loeb makes WRC return
Nine-time FIA World Rally Champion, Sébastien Loeb, will also join the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team to compete on the opening round of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship. The legendary French driver will be behind the wheel of the new Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 car for the 2022 Rallye Monte-Carlo, an event he has won seven times previously.
Loeb rewrote the FIA World Rally Championship’s record books as a full-time competitor with dominant performances across every surface type. Since his last WRC title, Loeb embarked upon a variety of motorsport programmes across an array of disciplines, succeeding in every single one.
Loeb’s latest WRC adventure sees him join forces with co-driver Isabelle Galmiche, a long time member of Loeb’s gravel crew.
Fourmaux, Loeb, Breen and Greensmith, along with the rest of the team at M-Sport will be working tirelessly between now and the start date of next year’s Rallye Monte-Carlo, January 20, to prepare for a high-excitement debut of the all new Hybrid Rally1 cars.
M-Sport has a rich history of success in the WRC with a total of seven World Rally Championship titles, 61 overall victories, 239 podiums and a record breaking 268 consecutive points finishes. M-Sport is thrilled to be fielding a line up of drivers who can certainly continue and build on this legacy during 2022.
Malcolm Wilson, Managing Director, M-Sport, said: “I am really happy to announce the remaining drivers in our Monte Carlo line up. Starting the new WRC regulations with such a strong lineup is something I am very proud of and goes to show the faith that these guys have in the new Puma Rally1.
“Seeing Adrien given the opportunity to compete in a full season with us is something I am very proud of. M-Sport has a long history of developing young drivers and Adrien is no exception, 2022 gives him the chance to show what he can really do. I am sure he will deliver some impressive performances over the course of the season.
“In relation to Seb, I came close to securing a deal with him back in 2005 but unfortunately at that time we were not able to make it happen. However, with the introduction of the new 2022 Rally1 regulations and following discussions with Red Bull, we both reached out to Seb to see if he might be interested to come and try the new cars – he was, he did and now we find ourselves in a position to say that he will join the team next year! It is fantastic to be able to bring such an accomplished driver to M-Sport and I have no doubt he is still capable of a fantastic result as well as being a mentor to our other drivers. It might have taken over 16 years to get this deal to come to reality, but it is great to see it finally happen!”
Richard Millener, Team Principal, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, said:“I am still quite early in my rallying career, but I have been incredibly lucky to work with some incredible drivers in the last years, having the chance to work with Séb Loeb is something I never really thought would happen. I know myself and the team will give everything we can to welcome him to the team and give him the best possible chance to get the best results.
“Also, finally confirming that Adrien will run with us for a full season is another piece of fantastic news. Adrien is such a motivated and exciting driver, and I am really pleased he now has a full season to be able to prove to us what he is capable of and demonstrate further development of what has so far been a very short career at the top level.
“Even though my job is to look after the rally team on a day to day basis, deep down I am just a huge rally fan and this news is genuinely exciting for me. It has taken lots of work to make this happen, and now I just cannot wait for the start of the Monte-Carlo. I know completing our line up with these two guys will motivate me and the team so much!”
Adrien Fourmaux, said:“I am very happy to announce I will continue my journey with the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team in 2022! An entire season is waiting for me with the M-Sport Ford Puma Hybrid Rally 1 which is a pleasure to drive. I am so proud of this, it is a very significant moment for me when I remember that I discovered rallying with the M-Sport Fiesta R2J back in 2017.
“For my sixth season in rallying I am really looking forward to competing at the highest level in M-Sport Ford and Red Bull Motorsport colours, and make all the people who believed in me and still believe in me proud. See you in Monte Carlo next month!”
Sébastien Loeb, said:“It’s nice to work with M-Sport, it is a very professional team and one that knows how to build good cars. I am happy to work with M-Sport now, since the beginning of my career I was fighting against Ford but I have always known Malcolm to be somebody very involved in the team and passionate about rally, we have always had a good relationship. I am really excited for Monte Carlo, it is really an exciting challenge.
“It was a pleasure to discover the new technology found in the Puma Rally1 cars, I think it is quite similar to the 2017 cars but with a hybrid system added on it. It makes it a bit more challenging to use and it is exciting to have something new to manage in the car. When I tested the car I was really impressed by how well balanced it is and how powerful it is with the hybrid, I really enjoyed it.
“I like what I do, I always enjoying driving, but when I do a WRC event it is just an amazing feeling. It is something I enjoy a lot, I think I can still be competitive, ok Monte-Carlo is maybe not the easiest event to start with a team as there can be some tricky conditions. I have some good memories from this rally and it is always an incredible atmosphere around the rally.”
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