Bertelli withdraws from WRC Rally Sweden due to fashion show clash

M-Sport will field three Rally1 Ford Pumas when the World Rally Championship continues in Sweden next week after Lorenzo Bertelli was forced to withdraw from the event.

Bertelli withdraws from WRC Rally Sweden due to fashion show clash

Bertelli was set to pilot a fourth Puma at the snow rally from 24-27 February, for what would have been his debut in the WRC’s new Rally1 hybrid machinery.

However, work commitments have forced the Italian to abandon plans a week out from the event. The semi-professional rally driver works in the fashion industry and the event clashes with Milan Fashion Week.

Bertelli competed in two WRC events last year, driving Ford Fiesta prepared by M-Sport at Arctic Rally Finland and the Safari Rally in Kenya.

The 33-year-old has made sporadic appearances in the WRC since 2011, with his best result to date an eighth place finish at Rally Mexico in 2016.

As a result, M-Sport will now filed three cars for its full-time drivers Craig Breen, Gus Greensmith and Adrien Fourmaux with all three eligible to score manufacturers points.

Fourmaux will compete in brand new Puma, which he helped build up last week, as the tight turnaround from Monte Carlo to Sweden prevented the British squad from rebuilding the car he crashed at last month’s season opener.

M-Sport team principal Richard Millener said it is shame to lose Bertelli from the entry list, but is hopeful he will return at an event later this season.

“He has had some work commitments change with the Milan fashion show, so he is not going to be there now,” Millener told Autosport.

Bertelli's absence means M-Sport will run only three Fiestas in Sweden

Bertelli's absence means M-Sport will run only three Fiestas in Sweden

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

“It will be three cars on the event. I would hope he will be back in the future but it is very dependent on his work schedule.

“It is not a huge difference for us [running three cars instead of four], it is just a shame for us, as we would have loved to see him there and getting another semi-professional/privateer driver in the car would have been great, but sometimes that is just the way it is.”

The team kicked off their Rally Sweden preparations this week with a pre-event test in Sweden which began on Monday.

shares
comments

Related video

Hirvonen: Loeb success won't entice me back to WRC
Previous article

Hirvonen: Loeb success won't entice me back to WRC

Next article

Loeb: It would be hard to resist temptation of WRC Ford Puma return

Loeb: It would be hard to resist temptation of WRC Ford Puma return
How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master Plus

How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master

He may only be contesting a part-time campaign in the World Rally Championship these days, but Sebastien Ogier underlined that he's lost none of his speed in the 2023 season opener. Storming to yet another victory on the Monte Carlo Rally, the eight-time world champion rewrote the history books again as Toyota served notice of its intentions with a crushing 1-2

WRC
Jan 23, 2023
How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling Plus

How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling

Audi should have been invincible in the snowy conditions that typically greeted the World Rally Championship paddock in Monte Carlo. But unexpectedly warm weather for the 1983 season opener, combined with some left-field thinking from the Lancia crew turned the tables. Forty years on, team boss Cesare Fiorio reflects on a smash and grab

WRC
Jan 21, 2023
Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion Plus

Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion

M-Sport had a disastrous 2022 with its Rally1 Ford Pumas following Sebastien Loeb’s first-time-out win on the Monte. But now things are looking up with 2019 world champion Ott Tanak leading its attack, and the Cumbrian operation has optimism that it can challenge for a first title since Sebastien Ogier's departure at the end of 2018

WRC
Jan 19, 2023
The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown Plus

The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown

As Kalle Rovanpera begins his World Rally Championship title defence in Monte Carlo, the Finn knows he has a target on his back. But who is best placed to knock the Toyota ace off his perch?

WRC
Jan 19, 2023
Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title Plus

Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title

Question: what could be harder than becoming the youngest-ever World Rally champion? Answer: becoming the youngest-ever two-time World Rally champion. That's quite the challenge facing Toyota's Kalle Rovanpera in 2022, particularly against rejuvenated opposition in the second year of the WRC's hybrid regulations

WRC
Jan 18, 2023
From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing Plus

From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing

OPINION: New Hyundai WRC team boss Cyril Abiteboul admits he’s got a lot to learn as he leads the marque's efforts to dethrone Toyota. But could his Formula 1 experience and evident strengths mean he turns out to be an inspired choice?

WRC
Jan 18, 2023
The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed Plus

The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed

Toyota was unstoppable in the 2021 World Rally Championship, with an excellent 75% strike rate from 12 rallies. But in a scary proposition for its rivals, the Japanese marque had built a car for the final year of the previous regulations set which it believes was much faster and could feasibly have crushed the opposition completely. Here the story of its mothballed world-beater

WRC
Jan 1, 2023
Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022 Plus

Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022

The season just gone was a memorable one for many of our staff writers, who are fortunate enough to cover motorsport around the world. Here are our picks of the best (and in some cases, most eventful) from 2022

Formula 1
Dec 31, 2022