Official: Loubet seals his first full WRC campaign with M-Sport for 2023

M-Sport Ford confirms that Pierre-Louis Loubet will drive a Puma Rally1 car in 2023 with a full-season programme after what he achieved in 2022.

The Corsican driver had the chance to compete in seven rallies this year and took his first ever stage win in Greece while he was the leader driver at the end of the Friday morning at Acropolis Rally showing of what he is capable of. He had Vincent Landais as his co-driver for 2022, but the last one joined Sebastien Ogier at Rally Japan after Benjamin Veillas's split.

The new navigator of Loubet for next season will be Nicolas Gilsoul who was alongside Thierry Neuville for many years. The Belgian co-driver participated with Loubet at Rallye National Hivernal du Dévoluy last weekend with the view of a future cooperation in World Rally Championship.

"It’s a dream come true for me, something that I have been dreaming about since I was a kid", Loubet said.

"To do my first full season, and to do the main passion in my life every weekend is something truly fantastic.

"The full season takes off a lot of pressure because I know that I have 13 events to give me chance to show all my potential, and gives me the space to grow and learn. 

"In 2023, my most important goal will be to finish every event, to gain experience and learn to know where we can push and go for maximum speed.

"To be an official driver and scoring manufacturer points for M-Sport is something I have always wanted, I am so pleased that M-Sport is believing in me like this. 

"A huge thank you to Malcolm and Rich who have done fantastic work for me. 

"I’m so pleased to be working with M-Sport again, and to work alongside Ott as teammates is something very special.

"I would also like to say a big thank you to Alexandre and Gwen who helped us reach a new level, and Christophe for his support. 

"I couldn’t have done it without them, or the support of my very good friend Laurent. 

"I hope to have a good season and make them all proud".

Moreover, Gilsoul said: "I am very happy to be back in the WRC, especially with a really good package, with a young promising driver, top car and world champion teammates. 

"The main thing as well for me is taking part in the entire WRC calendar. 

"I met Pierre-Louis last year during a training camp in France, at that time he was in a tough situation and I have been impressed by his mental strength to be able to show his speed, especially this year. 

"Last weekend we did a national rally together and straight away I felt his driving skill which was enough to convince me.

"It’s fantastic to come back to M-Sport exactly 10 years after my first time as vice champion, it was probably my favourite year, we showed great speed and a lot of top memories. 

"It was important for me to drive with Pierre-Louis prior to Monte, he is using a personal pace note system that I have never experienced before, like in every sport you need to practice in race conditions to get used to it. 

"We all know Monte is the most complicated rally to approach, so it is essential to avoid any doubt at the start of the season".

On the other side, Richard Millener stated: "We have all been impressed with Pierre’s performances this year. 

"He has continuously shown his willingness to learn from and surpass previous experiences and this is what makes him the perfect candidate for a full season. 

"He is, of course, still early on in his Rally1 career, and this upcoming season will be pivotal for him. 

"Pierre is a real team player and has quickly become a key member of the M-Sport family, and personally, I’m looking forward to seeing what we will achieve together next year; I sincerely hope we see him claim a very well-deserved first podium result".

Finally, Malcolm Wilson said: "I am very pleased to confirm Pierre-Louis Loubet for a full-time drive at the top level of the WRC with us next year. 

"I have full confidence in him and feel this year’s performance has shown he has all the ingredients to go far in this sport. 

"I am hopeful that working alongside Ott, Pierre will develop and learn in the same way Ott did in 2017 alongside Ogier".

Photo Credits: M-Sport

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