Through the course of the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) season, the M-Sport Ford team has experienced mixed results with a fifth place finish at Monte Carlo, a win in Sweden, ninth overall in Mexico, second place in Croatia, fourth-place in Portugal, third place in Sardinia, eighth place in Estonia, a fourth-place at the Acropolis Rally Greece, and a victory at Rally Chile. Shortly thereafter, M-Sport Ford announced that Estonian racer Ott Tänak would be leaving the team at the conclusion of the 2023 season, but before that happens, the team enjoyed some success at the all-new Central European Rally this past weekend.
Tӓnak and Martin Jarveoja battled through tough conditions and plenty of adversity to secure a third place overall finish at the inaugural Central European Rally in Passau, Germany. The race continued through Austria and the Czech Republic, offering up a wide variety of conditions including wet weather at the start, which make for some pretty challenging Tarmac stages. Regardless, the rain didn’t prevent hundreds of thousands of spectators from showing up.
The real star of the weekend was Adrien Fourmaux, however, who took home a victory in the RC2 class, which was the very first of his career in WRC.
“Firstly I must give a special mention to Adrien and Alex,” said M-Sport Ford Team Principal Richard Millener. “To go from 15th to 1st over the course of the weekend is incredible. The culmination of hard work from the team pushing through the Rally2 updates, to his mechanics and engineer giving him the best car and setup, to the crew themselves, showing what they are really capable of – it was all just perfect. Ott and Martin scored a second consecutive podium. I think it is fair to say Ott wasn’t comfortable in the car in these conditions, so to stay determined and to never give up has seen a second consecutive podium, something we are all very happy to see.”