M-Sport Ford does not worry of Puma's reliability and performance after Safari Rally

The team principal of M-Sport Ford, Richard Millener, says that he is not concerned by Puma's reliability and performance and explaings his thinking by holding up as an example the Toyota drivers.

Ott Tanak and Pierre-Louis Loubet finished in sixth and seventh place overall respectively in Kenya as both of them lost time due to punctures. More specifically, the 2019 WRC Champion stopped 9.6 Km into SS4 to change a wheel and completed the stage after two minutes while he lost another two minutes in SS11 after his suffering from a rear-left puncture which affected the rear damper as there was oil leaking. On the other hand, Loubet dropped more than three minutes in SS5 as he stopped 11.3 Km into the stage to change a wheel while he faced some problems with his Puma (a setting issue in SS2 which was related to the engine power, completed SS18 in road mode, issue with the turbo pressure in Powerstage). Last but not least, Tanak said at the end of SS4 that he had an engine problem as he could not get the power throughout the stage.

"We are not concerned", Millener said. 

"Again we have shown the pace of the car on the powerstage and I can tell you those Toyota drivers were trying and they were all carrying an issue.

"We often get a hard time about reliability but if you look all four of those Toyotas had the same problem. 

"I think the speed the drivers are driving at and the conditions we are going through are tricky. 

"I don’t think we are in a position that we need to be massively concerned about, okay Ott is still not 100% comfortable, but I think when you drop two minutes to a puncture and you are missing that battle with someone it is never the same. 

"Anyone that is competing knows that if you are not fighting you have the pace but you don’t have the adrenaline rush to push that little bit harder. 

"We had a couple of tyres off the rim like a de-bead. 

"Ott’s second one the wheel rim was completely smashed into, and they are all brand new rims, so it is not like we are not doing the best we can with them. 

"It is hard to tell what happened, there are so many rocks and everything. 

"It could have been an impact from ages ago. 

"If there is hairline crack which you don’t see at some point it just goes. 

"Even Ott said he had no idea what it was, it just went. I think that is part and parcel of the game.

"If you look at Ott he had a damper issue but that was because the wheel issue took the broken canister on the damper so it was kind of related from that. 

"We didn’t really have any issues at all for him. 

"Pierre-Louis had an issue with the engine map on the first stage but the roughness of the stage altered one of the dials on the steering wheel. 

"Then he had a turbo issue on the last stage but that was due to the dust. 

"Apart from that we have no issues so I think the reliability is very good. 

"The luck wasn’t with us".

Source: Motorsport.com

Photo Credits: M-Sport

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