Regrouped, refreshed, and reset, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team readies itself for a Herculean challenge on the Rally of Gods. Ott Tänak and Pierre-Louis Loubet will lead the team’s assault on the 15 brutal special stages of Acropolis Rally Greece, renowned for its unforgiving roads and scorching temperatures.
A total of six M-Sport crews will take on the legendary Acropolis Rally for the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship’s tenth round.
Putting their previous misfortunes behind them, Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja return to their Puma fully focused on the final four rounds of the 2023 WRC.
Claiming podium spots in the last two editions of the famously tough event, the Estonian pair are well-suited to the gruelling Acropolis Rally, that requires the perfect balance of aggression and mechanical sympathy to come out on top.
Writing himself into the history books with last year’s memorable performance in Greece, where the youngster found himself locked in the battle for first overall with his childhood hero Sebastien Loeb, Pierre-Louis Loubet will be looking to replicate and improve upon his impressive experiences here.
Also competing in a Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 is Jourdan Serderidis, who looks forward to taking on his home rally once again and his fourth WRC outing in the Puma this season.
M-Sport Ford World Rally Team will also make a strong showing in the WRC2 support category, with three Ford Fiesta Rally2s lining up to do battle in a highly competitive field.
Bolstered by his recent successes in the British Rally Championship and after claiming second overall in WRC2 in Finland last month, Adrien Fourmaux sets out in Greece on good footing. With ample experience in rough gravel conditions, Fourmaux has every chance for an impressive result on the Rally of Gods.
Grégoire Munster and Robert Virves line up beside Fourmaux in their Fiesta Rally2s, both focused on gathering experience and speed as the weekend progresses. Virves claimed the win in the Junior category last year, taking the championship win that earned his seat in a Rally2 with M-Sport.
The FIA Junior World Rally Championship will also come to its conclusion in Greece, where eight junior crews in identical M-Sport Poland-built Fiesta Rally3s will battle it out on what will be a very close championship-deciding event.
Richard Millener, Team Principal, said:
“The last few weeks has given everyone the opportunity to have a break and refuel themselves, something we all needed! We go into the latter part of the season looking to achieve the best possible results over the final four rallies.
“Greece has often served us well; it is our most successful event with eight WRC wins over the years. Ott has had a good track record here recently and of course we all remember Pierre-Louis’ performance last year with his first-ever rally lead and multiple stage wins.
“There is no doubting that we have a huge task ahead of us; running six cars in total is no mean feat and the whole team will be feeling the pressure to push for the results we know we can get. It’s always a real challenge battling the heat both inside the cars and in the service area, but we’re fully prepared and hope to make a strong comeback after a difficult couple of events.”
Ott Tänak said:
“It’s been nice to have a few weeks off training and to get my mind fresh and ready for the last four events. Greece will be tough for us and the car as well, but I’m looking forward to push there. We will put all in to finish the year with great emotions!”
Pierre-Louis Loubet said:
“Going back to Greece after what happened last year is a fantastic feeling; after leading the rally and getting my first stage wins there in 2022. It was a great souvenir and a really strong event for us. So I hope we can do the same again and this time make the podium! So let’s see, the feeling was very good in the car during the test which is a very positive thing.”
Jourdan Serderidis said:
“Obviously I can’t wait to be in the Puma’s seat for my home WRC event with so many Greek fans! I will try to be at the level the event demands, I believe we have prepared this event even better than the other ones. So, I am reasonably confident to get a nice result and fight for the Greek cup, even though there are some very good Greek drivers in Rally2!”
Adrien Fourmaux said:
“I last did Greece in 2021 with the Fiesta WRC and I can’t wait for next week. I really like this rally; it’s tough when it’s dry but sometimes you can get some rain in the mountains which makes it very interesting! There are a lot of spectators, it’s a really famous rally because it’s so tough, but I had a really nice feeling two years ago. With the long stages and the heat inside the car, it’s a big challenge for everybody. But I want to enjoy this one and hope to get a good result in a very competitive field of Rally2s.”
Grégoire Munster said:
“I’m excited to go back to Greece, we competed there last year too. We’ve done a few events on gravel in the Fiesta now, and the confidence is always getting better. I’m really looking forward to the rally, but not so much the temperatures! It can get really hot inside the cars, but that’s just how it is!”
Robert Virves said:
“I'm really looking forward to getting behind the wheel again after the accident in Finland.
My season so far has been a bit disappointing, in terms of my performance and results. Greece might be the last rally for me this year, so I must get myself together and deliver a proper result.”
Published 04 September 2023