The M-Sport Ford World Rally team has had a rough go of things as of late. The team just came off an eventful run at the Acropolis Rally in Greece, sweeping every single stage on Friday, September 9th, 2022, but suffering blown tires and mechanical failures the rest of the weekend. Prior to that, the M-Sport Ford team struggled at Ypres Rally Belgium in late August, during which French race car driver Adrien Fourmaux wrecked his Ford Puma into a ditch while running fifth. It seems these difficulties have factored into the rally team’s entry list for the forthcoming Repco Rally New Zealand, as Fourmaux was withdrawn from the entry list, per Motorsport.
The M-Sport Ford World Rally team originally planned to tackle Repco Rally New Zealand with a field of four Puma race cars on September 29th through October 2nd, 2022, but Fourmaux and co-driver Alexandre Coria will not join their fellow racers at the event. Just three Blue Oval machines will take to the track, with Craig Breen, Gus Greensmith and Lorenzo Bertelli behind their wheels.
“After reassessing Adrien Fourmaux’s targets for the 2022 season, M-Sport has withdrawn Adrien’s entry for Rally New Zealand,” the team said in a statement. “M-Sport remains fully committed to Adrien and this decision has been made in conjunction with him. M-Sport can confirm Adrien will return to action with the team on Rally Spain in a Puma Hybrid Rally1.”
It seems the demanding WRC schedule has forced M-Sport Ford to make difficult decisions such as this, but the team remains interested in continuing its partnership with Fourmaux for future events. He will return for Rally Spain, which will take place on October 20th through 23rd. His departure for Rally New Zealand, however, leaves a field of just 10 Rally1 racers overall.