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JUN 30, 2024 | M-Sport Press Release

M-SPORT CREWS DELIVER STUNNING DISPLAYS OF SPEED ON RALLY POLAND

Team on the podium with trophies

POLAND - Claiming his third podium of the 2024 FIA World Rally Championship season, Adrien Fourmaux delivers another faultless performance on his Rally Poland debut with M-Sport Ford World Rally Team. 

Supported by Rally1 newcomer, Mārtiņš Sesks, and teammate Grégoire Munster, the trio put on a fantastic show for swathes of Polish fans and delivered a fantastic overall result for the team with all three drivers finishing in the top seven positions.

Amidst celebrations of M-Sport’s 300 consecutive point-scoring finishes in WRC, the incredible result in Poland only bolsters this record-breaking achievement and signifies the start of many more milestones to come. 

Adrien Fourmaux and Alex Coria claimed third overall in Poland for the third time this season in another brilliant example of a skilled and perfectly measured drive. With a lack of experience here in Poland, Fourmaux started the weekend tentatively and focused on achieving a strong feeling in the car. Setting top-five times throughout Friday’s action, Fourmaux climbed the ranks amongst his more experienced competitors and ended the day fourth overall. 

With determination now setting in, Fourmaux remained hot on the heels of his championship rivals throughout Saturday’s stages. Avoiding trouble throughout the day’s high-speed stages, Fourmaux delivered more consistent times to hold strong in fourth overall, thus claiming a solid 10 provisional championship points from Saturday’s standings. 

As the battle for Sunday points commenced, Fourmaux would come into his own and push hard to stay at the top of the rankings. Inheriting third overall when Mikkelson suffered a puncture in the opening stage of the day, the Frenchman’s sights were set on his coveted third podium finish. Claiming the second-fastest time by only 0.7s on the first pass of the Mikołajki Power Stage, it was clear what Fourmaux’s goal was. 

The French pair would go fourth fastest on the Power Stage, solidifying their third overall finish on Sunday and securing another seven championship points, putting them now only one point off fourth in the overall standings.

The new talent of the weekend, Mārtiņš Sesks and Renārs Francis, stunned the service park in a fantastic debut of their non-hybrid Ford Puma Rally1. In strong preparation for their home rally in Latvia next month, with the support of the full hybrid system, the pairing had an exceptional weekend in Poland from the start.

Claiming a second-fastest stage time on Friday’s opening test, the 24-year-old Latvian would continue to capitalise on his strong road position throughout the day. Continuing to set top-five times in competition with the championship leaders, Sesks’ incredible effort would see him place fifth overall at the end of the day, just 0.2 of a second off from teammate Fourmaux.

A very positive Saturday would follow. With the task of keeping Neuville behind him, Sesks continued to push hard, benefitting from years of experience rallying in Poland. With pressure mounting during the afternoon loop as Neuville closed in, a monumental effort from the Latvian crew saw them hold onto fifth position by a mere 0.1 of a second, claiming himself eight provisional points and denying Neuville two points in the process. 

Keeping a cool head and delivering a measured drive on Sunday, Sesks continued to deliver competitive times to Munster, Katsuta and Mikkelson, dropping only one position and finishing the rally in a phenomenal fifth overall on his maiden WRC outing. Sesks claims a total of nine championship points ahead of his full-hybrid debut on Rally Latvia in two weeks’ time. 

Grégoire Munster and Louis Louka delivered another impressive performance on Rally Poland, securing seventh position overall after a consistent and level-headed weekend. Drawing on previous experience in Poland, and building on his career-best fifth-place finish at Rally Sardinia last month, the young Luxembourger aimed to continue his strong form in Mikołajki.

Utilising his strong road position, Munster put down some impressive pace on Saturday morning, taking an impressive second-fastest in SS4. Staying competitive with Mikkelson and Katsuta, he found himself sixth overall by the end of Friday.

Maintaining this measured pace throughout Saturday, Munster impressed with his consistently clean drive. Dropping one position in the opening stage, Munster’s goal now was to keep Katsuta at bay. Successfully holding seventh overall and increasing his advantage to 17.4 seconds, Munster claimed four provisional points heading into Sunday.

Munster fought hard to protect his margin all day, succeeding again and finishing the rally seventh overall for another strong finish to add to his championship rankings. 

Puma rally 1 jumping on path 

Richard Millener, Team Principal, said:

"It's been a fantastic weekend for the entire team. To see Adrien consistently set top times all weekend on an unfamiliar event to him was fantastic to watch, and his determination and improvement since the start of the season means he is now a contender on every event. This was shown again today with his impressive third place in the Sunday standings.

"Hats off to Mārtiņš for an incredible debut, to think he has been fighting Theirry Neuville all weekend is incredible and it has been impressive to watch. I'm now really looking forward to Latvia and seeing what he will achieve there."

"Also well done to Grégoire, he's given a really solid performance here. He has built on, and almost bettered, his last event in Sardinia, because his pace has been closer to the top guys here. All in all, a really successful weekend, and I'm happily looking forward to the next event in Latvia in a few weeks' time."

Adrien Fourmaux, third overall, said:

"For sure I have enjoyed my first time competing in Poland! The stages here are truly incredible, so unbelievably fast, and we can be really happy with the pace we've shown.

"It's really encouraging to get a podium on the first of three fast gravel rallies, so I'm looking forward to Latvia and Finland. We've had three third places this year already, so now the goal is to reach for the top two positions."

Mārtiņš Sesks, fifth overall, said:

“It was an incredible weekend. Every first time is very special, as I am so thankful for this opportunity to M-Sport, WRC Promoter, Rally Latvia, and our partners. We really did not expect to finish fifth. But I enjoyed every second of this active learning.”

Grégoire Munster, seventh overall, said:

“We are quite satisfied with our pace, and we had our best stage result in stage four, being second fastest. The gap compared to the fastest has been reduced, so it is a step forward. We learned a lot this weekend that we can carry into Rally Latvia, where we will try to benefit from our start position and have a good result.

“We also managed to keep Takamoto Katsuta behind, who is a far more experienced driver and who is normally performing well on these types of rallies. We also missed out on a point on the Power Stage by a couple of seconds, but overall I’m happy about the weekend.”