M-Sport Ford devastated with Sardinia results in WRC and WRC2 class

The team principal of M-Sport Ford, Richard Millener, feels sorry for his team after Rally Italia Sardegna considering what happened to his drivers.

Rally Italia Sardegna was a disastrous event for Malcolm Wilson's team as they had two retirements and one restart. More specifically, Ott Tanak was in second place overall after the superspecial stage in Olbia which was held on Thursday, but he dropped to seventh at the end of Friday morning as he struggled with the behavior of his Puma. The most serious problem was when he had to retire on the road section before Stage 10 due to an electrical issue which caused by his pass through a water splash in Stage 8. After this incident, his car stalled and dropped almost twenty seconds while he completed the stage in EV mode. Nevertheless, M-Sport Ford mechanics repaired his car and he was able to restart on Sunday under the regulations of Rally2 scoring four points for the championship as he was the second fastest driver there.

On the other hand, Pierre-Louis Loubet was third overall after the end of Friday morning, but his Puma suffered from a technical problem before the start line of SS5 as the gearbox was locked and could not engage any gear. He managed to fix this issue on the road section before SS6, but he was forced to retire on the finald stage of Friday as the steering was broken resulting in beaching his Puma in a ditch. Although his restart was confirmed at Friday night, eventually the team decided to withdraw his car on Saturday morning as the mechanics discovered further damage.

After its top drivers' problems, M-Sport Ford hoped for a good result in WRC2 class, because Adrien Fourmaux was leading Rally Italia Sardegna in his category. In Powerstage, the Frenchman ran wide and beached his Fiesta in a bank, therefore he was not able to get to the finish line as there was a suspension damage after his accident. The stage was interrupted for some minutes as his car was blocking the road for the following drivers, but the action resumed once his Fiesta was towed.

"What can I say, I feel so sorry for the whole team, everyone is trying so hard and we have just not had any luck this weekend", Millener said. 

"Ott gave his all for the Power Stage and managed to gain four vital championship points, but the retirement of Pierre was a huge disappointment. 

"Adrien drove a fantastic rally, he pushed where needed, and was controlled for the rest of the rally - through what can only be described as crazy conditions. 

"The result was not what he deserved, but we will stand by him, in rally there are always difficult times, but his speed and showing of talent this weekend is what we should remember. 

"Let’s bounce back in Kenya, we will not give up, that’s for sure!".

Photo Credits: M-Sport

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