Craig Breen and Paul Nagle start their competitive journey with M-Sport Ford on this week’s Rally Monte-Carlo. The World Rally Championship’s annual curtain raiser begins with two stages on Thursday night.
Ahead of his M-Sport debut, Breen was full of compliments for his new team.
“It is always something very special competing on Rally Monte-Carlo, but to be doing it for the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, is a dream come true.
“The team has done an unbelievable job building and developing the Puma Hybrid Rally1 and it really shows.
“It is by far the best rally car I have ever driven and with the addition of the hybrid unit, it is going to add another dimension to the rally.
“Paul and I are relishing the challenge and are really looking forward to the year ahead with M-Sport and Ford.”
Monte-Carlo is WRC’s first step into the much anticipated era of its hybrid Rally1 cars. A 100 kW hybrid unit will work in tandem with the 1.6 litre turbocharged engine that powered last year’s World Rally Cars.
The cars will also use 100% renewable fuel for the very first time.
M-Sport’s team principal Rich Millener was also swift to praise his colleagues who have prepared four Rally1 Pumas for 2022’s first WRC round.
“We’re really excited to finally get out there and show everyone what we have been working on so hard over the past 18 months,” Millener commented.
“An exceptional amount of work has been put in to get the cars ready to rally, and of course there are going to be challenges when you’ve got a new car, but we’re feeling very happy with the position we are in as we head into the first event of the year.”
France’s Adrien Fourmaux and Sebastien Loeb will drive M-Sport’s two remaining points-scoring Pumas. England’s Gus Greensmith kicks off his second full-time WRC programme in the fourth Ford Puma Rally1.
Closer to home, it has been confirmed that Rally Northern Ireland will not run in 2022. The event had been tipped to fill an August date on this year’s World Rally Championship calendar.
Event director Bobby Willis is now working with the WRC Promoter to make the event possible in 2023.
Photo by M-Sport Ford
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