M-Sport Ford World Rally Team will field three EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5 MkIIs as the FIA World Rally Championship returns to action at next week’s Rallye Monte-Carlo – Adrien Fourmaux and Rhys Yates in WRC 2, and ‘PEDRO’ in WRC 3. Each have previous experience of this challenging event, and the WRC 2 contenders have proven form.
Making his world-stage debut at the event last year, Fourmaux and Belgian co-driver Renaud Jamoul brought their Fiesta R5 home in an impressive second place in the WRC 2 category. Yates finished the same event just shy of the podium with legendary French co-driver Denis Giraudet and will contest this year’s event alongside Welshman James Morgan.
Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:
“Rallye Monte-Carlo is one of the most demanding events on the calendar, but when you get it right it’s also one of the most enjoyable and I hope all three of our Ford Fiesta R5 crews have an enjoyable rally next week.
“They all have some experience of this event from last year, and they’ll be able to use that to their advantage – as well as this weekend’s pre-event test where they’ll get a feel for the Fiesta and some of the conditions we can expect out on the stages.
“The WRC 2 and WRC 3 classes have never been so competitive, and that’s great news for the sport. All three of our crews have their own goals and ambitions ahead of this iconic event, and we’ll give each of them everything they need to achieve those goals.”
Adrien Fourmaux (WRC 2) said:
“Rallye Monte-Carlo is one of the most difficult events on the calendar. Every year the weather provides a really big challenge, and the rally is famous for its tricky conditions and the wonderful stories they create every year. It’s important to make the right tyre choice. But sometimes you will have the worst choice for the first stage and the best choice for the next two – so it’s all about compromise and finding the best option for the whole loop.
“Before my rally debut three years ago, I came to spectate here and it’s also where I made my FIA World Rally Championship debut last year – so it’s a really special place for me. Last year on my debut we finished second in WRC 2 and tenth overall. This year I have more experience and want to fight for the podium – and why not my first category victory!
“Whatever happens this is a great opportunity for me, and I’m really looking forward to being part of this big team – so a big thanks to everyone at M-Sport, the French Federation and my sponsors Yacco and Michelin.”
Rhys Yates (WRC 2) said:
“This year is a massive opportunity for me and of course I want to make the absolute best of it. But at the same time, this is only the second time I’ve started Rallye Monte-Carlo – an event where experience is everything. I start this rally with my sights set on the finish, but I’m sure there will be some sections where I can push on too. These are the target areas we use to monitor our progress in terms of progression in performance.
“Last year we were in the amateur class and now we’ve moved up to the pro section. We’re just one step down from the top flight so there’s no denying the competition’s going to be tougher this year. It’s going to be hard, but we have to take on the best to improve ourselves. Monte’s a massive journey into the unknown. We’ve got no idea of what’s coming in terms of the weather, the conditions or the grip. Every corner’s going to be an adventure. But let’s see what happens.”
‘PEDRO’ (WRC 3) said:
“The weather at Rallye Monte-Carlo is as unpredictable as the roulette wheel, and you never know what will happen. It’s no coincidence that this is considered one of the most challenging events on the calendar and it will be important for us to get a good feeling during our pre-event test this weekend. Having to go from dry asphalt to full ice and snow in a single stage makes this a very difficult rally – but that is also part of its charm and why everyone loves it so much.”