M-Sport World Rally Team’s Ford EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs completed the only full-snow event of the year at this weekend’s Arctic Rally Finland, with Teemu Suninen and Gus Greensmith securing eighth and ninth-place finishes, respectively.
While the Arctic Rally Finland stages looked incredible covered in snow, the high-speed sections that characterized much of the event didn’t fully suit the top-specification Fiesta and the team had to forgo an opportunity to fight for the top positions.
But having analyzed the data, the Fiesta remains as competitive as ever given the right circumstances. Driving well, both Suninen and Greensmith set top times through the tricky, more technical split sections, and the team will be looking to capitalize on this effort as the season progresses.
Elsewhere in the WRC 2 category, Adrien Fourmaux was holding his own against a strong and experienced field, keeping snow-specialist and Rally Sweden record-holder Eyvind Brynildsen honest in an intense battle for fourth place.
But when it looked as though the young Frenchman would retake the position yesterday afternoon, he ran slightly wide through the second pass of Mustalampi (SS6), lodging his EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta Rally2 in a ditch mere miles from the stage’s end.
Restarting to complete all of the’s speed tests, Fourmaux secured ninth place and a wealth of experience on what was only the third winter rally of his career.
“It’s not quite been our weekend, but we know where we are losing and where we need to improve,” said M-Sport Team Principal, Richard Millener. “We’re still competitive in the right conditions, and we saw some good times from Teemu and Gus in the more technical split sections where we know we can be quick. In the WRC 2 category, it was also great to see Adrien battling with some of the snow specialists on what was only his third winter rally and first experience of conditions like this.”
“I have learned a lot, which was the most important thing for me on this unfamiliar surface, and I’m really happy to have done this rally,” Fourmaux said. “The stages were incredible and so much fun to drive. It’s just a shame for the team and my sponsors that we weren’t able to reach our full potential, and I am sorry for that.”