M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Adrien Fourmaux and Rhys Yates secured fourth and fifth places at this weekend’s Rally Sweden – their EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5 MkIIs both showing form as they went head-to-head in the FIA World Rally Championship’s premier support series, WRC 2.
Securing fourth place, Fourmaux and co-driver Renaud Jamoul secured a strong haul of points but had the pace for more. Setting the second fastest time through the first pass of Finnskogen (SS3), the young Frenchman showed his potential before a broken front-left damper on the first stage of Saturday morning (SS5) put paid to his efforts.
Securing fifth place, Yates and co-driver James Morgan delivered a flawless drive and held their own against some of rallying’s most experienced winter-specialists. Getting to grips with the challenging conditions, the pairing improved their pace throughout the weekend and will be looking for further gains as their season continues.
Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:
“I think Adrien and Rhys can both be really pleased with their weekend. They were going up against some pretty experienced drivers when it comes to this event, and I’d say that they more than held their own. The conditions were really challenging, but we saw strong performances from the pair of them – Adrien surprising a lot of people with that second fastest time and Rhys delivering a flawless drive all weekend. It’s a shame we had the issue with the damper on Saturday morning, but other than that it’s been another strong event for the Fiesta R5 MkII.”
Adrien Fourmaux (4th WRC 2) said:
“This wasn’t the weekend we wanted, but I still think we can be happy with our performance. We showed that we have good pace when the conditions are more consistent, but we had a problem with the damper on Saturday. It was difficult to get back on the pace after that, and we made a bad choice with the tyre pressures today. But it’s all good experience and I can take a lot away from what was only my second event with an R5 car on gravel.”
Rhys Yates (5th WRC 2) said:
“There was a bit of head-scratching on Friday which was a short but long day for us. But we made a big change to the car in service and everything felt much better after that. We ended Saturday’s loop where we were hoping to start the rally, but you live and learn. The car and the team have been mega all weekend, and it’s another finish with some good mileage under our belts so I’m happy with that.”