M-Sport Ford driver Adrien Fourmaux has won an untypically snowy and icy Malcolm Wilson Rally in the UK.
Fourmaux and co-driver Alexandre Coria were using the opening round of the British Rally Championship as a pre-event test for next week’s Rally México in the World Rally Championship.
But the conditions were far more like Rally Sweden than México with snow and ice hitting England’s north-west and forcing a significant reshuffle to the event’s itinerary.
Hobcarton, Comb and Wythop were deemed too unsafe to pass and the rally was slimmed to just five stages – three passes of Greystone and one pass of Grizedale North and South.
Fourmaux wasn’t actually quickest on the opening stage – that honor going to Welsh driver James Williams by a scant 0.1 seconds – but he controlled the rally thereafter to defeat four-time British Rally champion Keith Cronin to the event win as conditions eased up. Fourmaux’s eventual victory margin was just shy of a minute, at 53.5s.
It was his second victory on the event based at M-Sport’s Cockermouth headquarters after he won the rally three years ago, also driving a Ford Fiesta Rally2.
“It was really, really good fun actually,” said Fourmaux.
“It was also a really nice experience this morning with the tricky conditions and ice etc that you find sometimes on the GB rallies, so it was really nice.
“These stages are just beautiful, I was really enjoying to drive.
“It was good for me to drive this car on gravel because the last time I did was Mexico last year.”
Jourdan Serderidis meanwhile had his debut in a Rally1 car on UK soil, driving a Ford Puma Rally1 with M-Sport’s WRC2 driver Grégoire Munster as his co-driver. He finished ninth after a few spins in the tricky conditions.