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M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 Racers Face Challenges At Safari Rally Kenya

Safari Rally Kenya, round six of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship, certainly wasn’t an easy race for the Ford Puma Rally1 teams. The event marked the first race on African soil for the new Puma race cars, and they showed potential throughout the event, but couldn’t make it stick in the end, with the best Ford finishing sixth.

The rally kicked off on a course just outside of Nairobi on Thursday, where veteran racer Sebastian Loeb claimed the first stage victory of the day and earned valuable power stage points for his team. His was the first of four stage wins overall, one of which was secured by Adrien Fourmax, his first-ever stage victory. However, these victories weren’t enough to outpace the competition, as the M-Sport Ford teams struggled to maintain consistent speed throughout the event.

Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1

Craig Been wheeled his Puma Rally1 to the Ford-best sixth place finish. “The experience has been nice, I’ve never been to the country so I’ve been taking it all in,” he said. “From a sporting point of view, it hasn’t gone all that well which is a pity especially off the back of Sardinia.”

Loeb drove to an eight-place finish, and Adrien Fourmaux captured 14th. Gus Greensmith rounded out the Ford teams with 15th.

Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1

“We knew going in that this rally would be a challenge, perhaps the biggest of the season in terms of ultimate durability,” said Richard Millener, Team Principal, after the event. “The conditions exceeded our expectations, especially the fesh fesh [fine sand], which was effectively a lottery and perhaps a bit over the limit of what these new [Ford Puma] Rally1 cars can handle.”

Despite the difficulties, Millener said that the M-Sport team learned some valuable lessons that will prove useful throughout the rest of the season.

Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1

The FIA WRC season continues on July 14th at Rally Estonia. In the meantime, be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Puma newsFord racing news, and ongoing Ford news coverage.

Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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