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M-Sport: Fourmaux's Kenya podium answered reliability critics

Back-to-back World Rally Championship podiums including a third position at the demanding Safari Rally Kenya has answered M-Sport’s reliability critics, according to team principal Richard Millener.

Adrien Fourmaux, Alexandre Coria, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

Photo by: M-Sport

The Ford squad has made a strong start to the 2024 season, headlined by maiden third-place finishes for Adrien Fourmaux in Sweden and Kenya, which has helped the Frenchman to third in the championship standings. 

The results arrive after a difficult year for the British team last season that featured a run of reliability issues for the Ford Pumas then driven by Ott Tanak and Pierre-Louis Loubet.

However, this year the Puma has so far proven to be reliable in the hands of Fourmaux and Gregoire Munster.

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Kenya’s notoriously rough stages offered the toughest of tests for the car, which stood up to the challenge, avoiding any mechanical or technical issues.

Fourmaux enjoyed a trouble-free run to third with his only issue being a puncture picked up from hitting a rock in stage 13. Munster ran as high as sixth until he hit a rock that damaged the left-rear suspension.

“It has been a fantastic weekend. The team have done a really good job all weekend: the car was reliable, and we had no issues with the car, so congratulations to the team,” said Fourmaux, who is the first driver to score a maiden WRC podium and follow that with a rostrum in the next event since Dani Sordo in 2006. 

“We have been sensible, but it has been really positive. For us it has been two podiums in two rallies, so it is a really great start to the season. Now we need to continue. We have had one podium on snow, one in gravel so now we need one on tarmac.”

Adrien Fourmaux, Alexandre Coria, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

Adrien Fourmaux, Alexandre Coria, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

M-Sport boss Millener praised Fourmaux’s mature drive and believes the Puma’s performance in Kenya is proof that the car is reliable.

“I’m really happy. We knew we could get this position, but we needed a few things to go our way and we needed Adrien to drive how he drove,” said Millener.

“He had to keep close to everyone, which he did, and he had to choose where to push and where to back off, it was really good.

“We got a lot of criticism last year [about our reliability] but after three rallies we have scored two podiums. I think that speaks for itself in some ways.

“We are putting pressure on ourselves now for the rest of the year, and the strategy for Croatia cannot be like this where we are waiting and hoping, but it needs to be a gradual build and nothing crazy.”

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