Ford Authority

M-Sport Ford Satisfied With Monte Carlo 2023 Performance

The M-Sport Ford team roared into the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship on a high note, laying down an encouraging performance at Rallye Monte Carlo this past weekend with a revamped roster for this year’s competition.

Ott Tänak joined M-Sport Ford anew this year, taking control of a Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid racer. Tänak raced into a fifth-place overall result, earning four Power Stage points at Monte Carlo while learning the feel of his new race car. Tänak’s second-fastest Power Stage time was only half a second off the leader, setting the course for a promising 2023 season overall.

“Generally, it was a good weekend, we have learnt plenty and got some good mileage as well. There are things we need to improve, and just look to be more consistent and gain some speed,” Tänak said of his run.

Pierre-Louis Loubet, meanwhile, showed some muscle despite misfortune in his first appearance in 2023. Loubet was tapped for full-time competition with M-Sport Ford at the end of 2022 after a successful part-time effort last season. Unfortunately, his Puma racer lost power steering during SS5 on Friday, January 20th, and he was unable to make repairs. Even so, he wheeled the race car for the rest of the day. On Saturday, he was forced to retire early due to critical damage after a poorly executed turn. To add insult to injury, the race car presented with a fatal water leak on Sunday and was unable to be driven to the event’s completion.

“From my side, the car was fantastic to drive,” Loubet said. “On dry Tarmac in Monte Carlo, the car is incredible and it felt really good. There are some points for improvement, but in general it was a great experience. I think the pace is better than last year, we have seen some progress and we can look to fight for a podium on gravel later in the year.”

We’ll have more on M-Sport soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford 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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