Nine-time world champion, Loeb, has been carefully linked to a return to the WRC having tested M-Sport’s unusual Rally1 Puma hybrid twice in Spain and France in October and November respectively.
Talks between Loeb, sponsors and the group were ongoing for months before a deal used to be within the discontinuance reached to enable the 47-Twelve months-outdated to pilot a fourth Puma for next month’s season opener.
At this stage the Frenchman is more healthy confirmed to contest the Monte Carlo Rally season opener the build he’ll line up in opposition to Toyota’s eight-time world champion Sebastien Ogier.
Loeb closing contested a burly-time WRC marketing campaign in 2012 with Citroen, but has made semi-favorite outings within the intervening years with the French manufacturer and due to this truth with Hyundai, taking his memoir-extending 79th WRC victory on the 2018 Rally Spain.
Subsequent Twelve months will ticket Loeb’s first WRC tournament since closing Twelve months’s Rally Turkey, the build he accomplished third in a part-time power for Hyundai.
“Or now not it is nice to work with M-Sport, it is some distance a if truth be told expert group and person that’s conscious of learn the technique to originate genuine autos,” talked about Loeb.
“For the reason that starting of my occupation I used to be combating in opposition to Ford but I if truth be told derive constantly identified [boss] Malcolm [Wilson] to be somebody very pondering referring to the group and rally, we derive constantly had a genuine relationship.
“I am if truth be told mad for Monte Carlo, it is if truth be told an exhilarating express.”
M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson added: “Beginning the unusual WRC guidelines with this kind of solid line-up is one thing I am very pleased with and goes to reward the faith that these guys derive within the unusual Puma Rally1.”
Sebastien Loeb testing the M-Sport Ford WRC automobile
Characterize by: M-Sport
In train for this deal to happen Loeb has been launched from a contract with Prodrive, whom he has been competing within the Dakar Rally and Low E this Twelve months and in 2022.
“We agreed with Seb that he would favor a pair of more competitive drives within the WRC and that this would possibly well presumably per chance within the discontinuance assist his Dakar and Low E campaigns,” talked about David Richards, Prodrive chairman.
“Seb is an incredible talent who has misplaced none of that competitive spirit and would possibly presumably per chance be if truth be told one of many favourites to put off Dakar in January.
“He has proven in Low E that he serene has the raw toddle, most steadily atmosphere the quickest situations and I set aside now not derive any doubt he has the capability to be combating for wins within the WRC next Twelve months.”
Fourmaux secures burly season power
Fourmaux used to be widely anticipated to proceed with the group for next Twelve months having done a key position within the boost of the unusual Puma hybrid designed to compete below the WRC’s unusual Rally1 guidelines.
The 26-Twelve months-outdated has enjoyed a instant upward thrust to the WRC, making his burly debut in rallying’s high flight closing Twelve months, scoring a fifth on debut at Rally Croatia in April.
Fourmaux in the starting up joined the group closing Twelve months, competing in WRC2 before embarking on a split WRC2/WRC marketing campaign closing Twelve months, sharing the Ford Fiesta with Teemu Suninen.
Following Suninen’s departure, Fourmaux used to be handed the seat and contested eight of the 12 rounds, scoring three high six finishes and a stage put off in June’s Safari Rally.
“A full season is asking ahead to me with the M-Sport Ford Puma Hybrid Rally 1 which is a pleasure to power,” talked about Fourmaux. “I am so pleased with this, it is some distance a if truth be told essential 2nd for me when I be conscious that I discovered rallying with the M-Sport Fiesta R2J assist in 2017.
“For my sixth season in rallying I am if truth be told searching ahead to competing on the easiest level in M-Sport Ford and Red Bull Motorsport colours, and just like the total folk that believed in me and serene factor in in me proud.”
He would possibly be a part of the already confirmed Craig Breen and Gus Greensmith for what’s going to be a three automobile assault on the burly championship.
Ford Puma Rally1, Adrien Fourmaux
Characterize by: Ford
WRC 2022 Driver line-up to this level
Sebastien Ogier/Esapekka Lappi
Oliver Solberg/Dani Sordo
Sebastien Loeb (Monte Carlo)