Adrien Fourmaux‘s future at the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team was not looking promising after the three-first rallies of the season,and the young Frenchman was facing the prospect of demotion for Portugal.
Now with the entry list for Rally de Portugal published, it shows that the French driver will still be able to drive a Ford Puma Rally1 car. Fourmaux’s early season has not gone well, with many interruptions in the three previous rounds.
Last time out in Croatia, he went off the road into a garden as he lost the control of the car on wet tarmac and was unable to continue the rally, and earlier in January in Monte-Carlo, he rolled over a guardrail with the chassis being written off.
M-Sport’s management weighed in after the Croatian asphalt rally to see if Fourmaux should be sidelined from the Portuguese round but now he has been given a new opportunity to improve as reported by DirtFish.com.
In an interview with the American publication DirtFish, the team principal Richard Millner said; “We believe it would be detrimental to Adrien’s development as a driver if we were to take him out of the car and put him in another category in Portugal. He’ll be at the event in a Puma.”
“We still believe in him, that’s never changed. Right now it’s probably a bit more painful to have cars being crashed when we’re working with a new car and everybody and everything is already stretched. He knows that. He knows the situation.”
“What we’re seeing with Adrien is part and parcel of developing a young driver. Look back and this team has helped bring on more young drivers than any other team in the championship. Malcolm [Wilson, managing director] has been through this same thing with the likes of Jari-Matti [Latvala], Ott [Tänak], Elfyn [Evans] and maybe Mikko Hirvonen. But just right now, with the costs involved with the new car, it’s hurting a little bit.”
M-Sport has a total of five Ford Puma Rally1 cars entered for the Portuguese gravel rally with Craig Breen, Sebastien Loeb and Fourmaux will drive for the manufacturers ’points. With two additional drivers of Gus Greensmith and Pierre-Louis Loubet outside the main squad.
The four days Rally de Portugal event which is the first gravel test on the 2022 calendar will be held on 19-22 May.