M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s WRC2 squad Adrien Fourmaux and Rhys Yates are ready to tackle the second round of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship at Rally Sweden.
Both drivers participated the opening-round at Rallye Monte-Carlo where they had to guide their Ford Fiesta MKII R5 car through tricky conditions in the French Alps.
The WRC2 class which is now exclusively for factory teams to enter R5 cars has a really strong starting grid in Sweden, the rally has been shortened only 11 Special Stages for this year’s edition as the mild winter in Northern Europe have made it impossible to drive full-course.
“Rally Sweden is a classic, and I think Adrien and Rhys are both really looking forward to getting out there and experiencing these incredible stages with the Ford Fiesta R5 MkII.” Richard Millener, Team Principal, said.
“They’re going up against some pretty experienced snow specialists in WRC 2 – most of whom have a lot of knowledge when it comes to this rally – so we have to be realistic, if a little optimistic too. The goal is for Adrien and Rhys to learn as much as they can whilst enjoying every second – and if we run a clever rally, anything can happen.”
Fourmaux and Yates both had their first snowy test on Tuesday this week, where they got a taste of what to come this weekend.
“It’s really nice to hear that the organisers have found a way for us to go rallying and we can say a big thanks to the Rally Sweden team for that. ” Fourmaux said.
“This is the only full-snow rally on the calendar, and that makes it really special. Driving in the forests with the white landscape and hundreds of fans makes it a beautiful rally, and I’m really looking forward to getting back out there this year.”
“I competed in Sweden last year, but this will be my first time with the Fiesta R5 which makes it a completely new experience for me with more speed and totally different lines. “
“The biggest challenge will be in trusting the grip and speed through the corners and learning how to fight on the same level as the locals – but I can’t wait to get started. I plan to enjoy every second, and if I can deliver a smart rally and leave with good points, good stage times and a good experience I’ll be very happy.” Fourmaux added.
Yates also participated in the British Rally Championship at the season-opener in Wales at the Cambrian Rally, he finished on his first-round after his return on third place overall.
“We’ve got a really good feeling with the car at the moment and I’ve never felt more comfortable on gravel than I did with the Fiesta at the Cambrian last weekend. ” Yates said.
“The pace was pretty quick at times – as it will be this week in Sweden – so you’ve got to be comfortable with the car moving about underneath you. You’ve got to be comfortable with it going sideways in fifth gear. I got that feeling in Wales and that’s great for me.”
“I want to hit the ground running in Sweden. We’ve got a test on Tuesday and then the rally starts Thursday. One thing I’m so chuffed with is how much time I’m getting in the car. By the time Sweden starts I’ll have been in this Fiesta four times in a week – I’ve never had that much seat time before and that can only be good for the confidence!”