Ford Authority

M-Sport Ford Looking To End 2022 On A High Note In Japan

The final race of the 2022 World Rally Championship is on the horizon, and the M-Sport Ford team is ready to tackle Rally Japan to end an eventful year full of ups and downs in a positive way. So far, the team has accrued one overall win in the series, 27 stage wins and 10 Power Stage wins this season, an impressive record despite hardships.

Japan has not hosted a WRC event since 2010, when the racers took to gravel roads in the far east country. This year, the Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 race cars, and the others, will race on tarmac through an all-new set of stages.

Also new for this race will be James Fulton, Craig Breen’s newest codriver after Paul Nagle announced his retirement earlier this year. Fulton has garnered valuable experience as codriver of the M-Sport Ford Puma by sitting in on numerous test days and even following Nagle’s lead at several WRC events.

Breen is feeling optimistic about his chances. “It is the last rally of the year and a new rally for everyone,” he said. “From what we can see so far, the roads look challenging; incredibly twisty and technical. It looks like it will be up there as one of the most difficult rallies that we’ve seen on Tarmac so far. Still, it should be a nice challenge.”

Gus Greensmith will pilot the other Puma race car for M-Sport at Rally Japan. Adrien Fourmaux was initially slated to compete as well, but M-Sport Ford recently withdrew his entry, citing budget constraints. That means that Ford will close the WRC season with only two vehicles on track. Rich Millener, M-Sport Ford team principle, said he is looking forward to the event. “I am feeling optimistic about this rally, the aim is to do our absolute best to finish the season on a high, to give us some momentum into the off season as we prepare for the 2023 season,” he said.

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

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  1. Peter

    This is actually the last time that I will leave a comment, although… I can’t believe what I’ve just read once again. ‘the aim is to do our absolute best to finish the season on a high’. Once again… A stunning M-Sport Performance after day one in how to make a fool of Ford Motor Company take … I lost actually track. The Puma is way, way behind and while the others are struggling, M-Sport is doing the same. Just take the right decision and WITHDRAW from WRC – FIA World Rally Championship. When you even look at the actual top 10, FIA will realise that their series is in real danger to survive in the future!

    1. RWFA

      Thank you for taking your own advice and withdrawing from leaving comments.

      You seem to think the best path to victory is not competition and improvement but quitting outright.

      As I said to a previous comment of this nature, if your approach had been applied after first lousy season of GT-40 appearances, we never would have seen the 1,2,3 sweep at Le Mans.

      1. Peter

        Volkswagen stopped motorsport because of their DIESELgate. VW won nearly everything between 2013 and 2016. M-Sport with Ford were competing against them and they NEVER even came close to them. M-Sport is a private company that uses Ford shelves. They have the best PR-department but their vehicles aren’t. When Ogier joined them in 2017 (he lost his VW seat), they won the 18 and 19 championship. As soon as he left, M-Sport started to struggle again like they always do! That’s my point, this has nothing to do with Le Mans 1-2-3. 2020, 2021 and especially 2022 were a real disaster and 2023 won’t be any better. I respect your opinion but Ford is struggling so much in WRC (just check the statistics) that quitting is the only option is the very near future!


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