Ford Authority

Ford Performance Simulator Helping M-Sport Ford

The 2024 World Rally Championship (WRC) season is still fairly young, but the M-Sport Ford team has already enjoyed some solid success thus far. In fact, drivers Adrien Fourmaux and Grégoire Munster kicked things off with podium finishes at both Rally Sweden and Safari Rally Kenya in their recently-updated Puma Rally1 racer before holding on to the third spot in the driver’s championship with another strong showing at last weekend’s Croatia Rally. However, as it turns out, the M-Sport Ford team is also getting a little help from the Ford Performance division as well, according to Autosport.

M-Sport Puma Rally1 2024 Rally Monte Carlo - Exterior 003 - Side

The Blue Oval doesn’t operate a full-blown factory team, but it still provides plenty of support to M-Sport Ford – including, it seems, access to its racing simulator at the Ford Performance Technical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s there that Fourmaux has spent some time honing his skills in a virtual setting, which he says has had a tremendous impact on his success thus far this WRC Season – as well as on his Puma Rally1 racer, too.

“I’m really happy because we have come really far with the car since Monte Carlo,” Fourmaux explained. “The car wasn’t good at all on tarmac, we were struggling so much, but we have done a lot of development in the simulator and on the test. We were searching a little bit at the beginning of the rally, but after Friday afternoon where I did the second fastest time, I found a really good setup. We have made a big step, but there are things we still need to improve and we are working on it to gain some time. [The simulator] is working and I’m really pleased we have done a good job with the car, and it has been working on this rally. We are using it as a tool to make the car faster and it is working.”

M-Sport Ford 2024 Croatia Rally - Exterior 001 - Rear Three Quarters

“Obviously there is only a certain amount of things you can do with it but it allows us to be a little bit more efficient before we go testing as testing regulations are quite restricted,” added M-Sport Ford Team Principal Richard Millener. “It also allows the drivers to have a bit more feedback with the engineers and the design team and keep them thinking all the time about what we can do. It gives you a little bit more freedom to come up with some out of the box ideas that we would never try in reality and see what happens. It is great that they support us with those things but there are limitations as rallying is very different to circuit racing which is what the simulators are designed for at the moment. It is part of the help that Ford give us that not everybody knows about and appreciates the value that is to us as a company.”

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

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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