M-Sport Ford World Rally Team has signed 2019 WRC2 Champion Pierre-Louis Loubet for a seven-round programme in the FIA World Rally Championship in an M-Sport Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1.
Loubet is no stranger to M-Sport with the 24-year-old having competed for the team in the 2017 FIA WRC2 Championship in a Fiesta R5. He would go on to show improvement in the WRC2 category, eventually seeing success in 2019. His championship year saw him take his maiden WRC2 victory as well as claiming a top-ten overall finish on Rally de Portugal. Another WRC2 victory followed on Sardinia that year before claiming the championship on the season-ending Rally Spain.
Since his WRC2 success the Frenchman began driving WRC machinery, building precious event mileage at WRC level, and showing consistent progress. Loubet joins M-Sport at an exciting time following the successful debut of the M-Sport Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 which recently won on its debut event at Rallye Monte Carlo in January. For his 2022 campaign, Loubet will have seven outings in a Puma Hybrid Rally1 starting on Croatia Rally in April:
Rally de Portugal
Rally d’Italia Sardegna
Rally Finland or TBC
Acropolis Rally Greece
Rally de Espana
Pierre-Louis Loubet, Driver for M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, said:
"To be part of the team this year is so amazing! The team showed its performance on Monte Carlo, the Puma looks like a beast, it’s really great! When you are a driver, you want to be in the best car, you want the best possible way to show your potential which is what I need for this season. It’s a crucial season for me and, I know with M-Sport, I will have everything I need to do well.
“It’s a bit of a dream come true, every driver wants to be in the best car in his career, it’s happening for me now in just my second full season of WRC. I am super happy, I would like to give a big thank you to Malcolm and Rich as well as my partner Alexander who all made this possible. I am sure we will do great things together and I hope I will be able to show my real potential.”
Malcolm Wilson OBE, Managing Director of M-Sport, said:
“Promoting and developing young talent has always been a core element of M-Sport’s WRC programmes and Pierre joining us at the top level is another example of that. We stayed in contact with him after his season with us in 2017 and he has impressed me a lot since then. Winning the 2019 WRC2 Championship is a particularly strong achievement and to go straight into WRC from there is a big step which he has taken in his stride. I will be keeping a close eye on his progress throughout this year, we know what the Puma is capable of and I am sure we are going to see Pierre shine with these opportunities.”
Richard Millener, Team Principal of M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, said:
“It is fantastic to welcome another friendly face back to the M-Sport team. I worked with Pierre when he was driving a Fiesta R5 in WRC2 and he was a great person to have around.
“He has gained lots of valuable experience in many different cars over the past couple of seasons and I am really looking forward to seeing him show off his improvement in the Puma Hybrid Rally1. It is also fantastic for the sport to see another young and upcoming talent competing consistently at the highest level in these exciting new cars.”
Published 4th February 2022