M-Sport driver Adrien Fourmaux feels he is driving better than he ever has done in his World Rally Championship career, and would therefore be more prepared for a top-class drive than he was last year.
Fourmaux’s rise to the WRC was rapid, first contesting WRC2 in 2019 where he stunned with a second place on debut at the Monte Carlo Rally.
He officially joined M-Sport’s fold in 2020 and received a handful of World Rally Car drives in 2021 which increased as the season progressed when Teemu Suninen elected to leave the team.
Fourmaux was signed for what was supposed to be a full season in a Puma Rally1 last year, but a number of accidents meant the Frenchman missed events in Greece, New Zealand and Japan and was demoted to WRC2 for 2023.
But the 28-year-old has reversed his career momentum this campaign, deeply impressing with both his speed but also his temperament behind the wheel of a Fiesta Rally2.
Although he hasn’t managed to win a WRC2 event this year, Fourmaux has led three of them and finished a stand-out second in Finland amidst a field of Scandinavian drivers – although he did slip off the road on the final, soaking stage in Sardinia to hand victory to Andreas Mikkelsen.
Elsewhere, Fourmaux has played a pivotal role in developing M-Sport’s Rally2 challenger and has won four events from four starts in the British Rally Championship.
Asked by DirtFish in Greece if he feels he has improved this year, Fourmaux said: “Yeah for sure.
“I gain some experience, I gain some confidence, it’s my 12th rally this season. We have I think four or five wins, we have been fighting on every different surface in the WRC2 class, so our pace is there everywhere – this is where it’s really important.
“OK we are missing a bit the results sometimes with mechanical [problems], punctures etc but in Rally2 it’s really difficult to have a really clean season, so it’s part of the lottery sometimes.”
Fourmaux’s goal has always been to return to a Rally1 drive, and he feels he would be far more capable than he was when he got his first chance.
But he is prepared to be patient.
“My goal has always been to go back into Rally1 since end of last year,” Fourmaux said.
“We know there aren’t many seats in the Rally1 so sometimes you have to be patient and see how it is. If I have to do another [season in] Rally2 I will have to do, but for sure I want to be in Rally1.
“I’m much more ready than I was last year, the beginning. So for sure I feel that now I would be more capable in Rally1 than I have ever been.”
Fourmaux’s next event is this weekend’s Rally Yorkshire in the UK. If he wins, he will be crowned the new British Rally champion.