Why M-Sport Ford chose Ardennes as a warm-up for Croatia?

The team principal of M-Sport Ford, Richard Millener, reveals the reason behind his team's decision to participate in Rallye de Ardennes this weekend saying that it will be great opportunity for Ott Tanak to build mileage with the Puma Rally1. 

FIA changed the testing regulations for 2023 season and now each driver has only seven days for testing which means that they and the WRC teams have to think clever how to spend their days to prepare for a WRC round. In the past, the WRC teams had 28 days whereas now they have 21 days of testing in total. A rally, which is not included at WRC calendar, gives a great chance to the teams and the drivers to cover many kilometers in distance and to analyze the data with the intention of making some changes to the car ahead of a WRC event. 

M-Sport Ford has given the opportunity to Ott Tanak to take part in Otepaa talveralli and Rallye de Ardennes with the Ford Puma Rally1 as his preparation for Rally Sweden and Rally Croatia respectively, because it is his first year at the team and he has to get more familiar with his car after his departure from Hyundai Motorsport at the end of 2022. 

"From the start of the year we were looking for an opportunity to familiarize ourselves with a dry Tarmac event before using our full pre-event test day for Croatia and Rallye Ardennes fits the bill perfectly", Millener said.

"We are so restricted with our test days this year that we really need to get the most out of them when we do use them. 

"Ardennes means we can effectively do a fast shakedown in live stage conditions while Ott grows accustomed to the Puma Rally1 on dry Tarmac – then they can hit the ground running for their official test day.

"It’s to build mileage more than anything. 

"As it’s a rally, there’s very little opportunity for us to make lots of car changes once it has started, so that element will still be focused around the test day in Croatia next week.

"This presents a great opportunity for our Belgian fans too, who don’t currently have a WRC round, to see a top driver in top flight machinery on their local roads".

Source: DirtFish.com

Photo Credits: M-Sport

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