M-Sport Ford WRC team members Teemu Suninen and Mikko Markkula got off to a strong start at this weekend’s Rallye Monte-Carlo as their Ford EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC was the fastest machine in the first few miles of the race.
The young duo has always excelled in changing weather conditions, and that was certainly the case as the first stage of 2021 got underway. However, things quickly went south when the car took a dive into a bank and off the course. Unfortunately, the damage proved too extensive to repair, which ends Suninen and Makkula’s 2021 Monte Carlo outing prematurely.
Meanwhile, Gus Greensmith struggled to find a comfortable rhythm behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta WRC and finished the day in tenth place overall. Greensmith did make some changes to his car during last night’s service and will be looking for a better result when he and co-driver Elliott Edmondson return to action today.
In the WRC 2 category, Adrien Fourmaux and Renaud Jamoul got off to a near-perfect start behind the wheel of their EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta Rally2 and are currently in second place – 8.9 seconds behind the leader. The Franco-Belgian pairing set the third fastest time through the first stage before going on the attack through the second.
Making the most of their tire choice, the duo set a sensational time through the opening split section – more than a second quicker than all but one world rally car – and completed the stage with a 5.9-second advantage in the RC2 class.
“Needless to say, this wasn’t the start any of us wanted – especially after everything it took just to be here,” said M-Sport Ford WRC Team Principal, Richard Millener. “But as disappointing as it is right now, we have to stay positive and remember that we had the pace. I just feel sorry for the team who put in so much hard work to be here.”