Adrien Fourmaux will miss his second World Rally Championship round in succession as a decision has been made “in conjunction with him” to skip Rally New Zealand next week.
After making his top flight debut with M-Sport Ford in 2021, and impressing significantly, 2022 was supposed to be Fourmaux’s first full season at the highest level – but things quickly unraveled.
Two crashes on the first three rallies put him majorly on the back foot and a combination of technical trouble and small driving errors since then have resulted in him picking up just nine points all season – less than he scored on his top class debut in Croatia last year.
Fourmaux was on to finish at least fifth on last month’s Ypres Rally Belgium but, when feeling under the weather, went off the road and crashed his Ford Puma Rally1 into a telegraph pole.
The resultant damage from that accident made it impossible for him to compete on Acropolis Rally Greece, although Fourmaux did travel to Greece to complete the pre-event recce.
But he will need to wait a little while longer to get back behind the wheel in competition as a statement from Fourmaux’s M-Sport Ford team on Tuesday confirmed that his entry for Rally New Zealand has been withdrawn.
“After reassessing Adrien Fourmaux’s targets for the 2022 season, M-Sport has withdrawn Adrien’s entry for Rally New Zealand,” it said.
“M-Sport remains fully committed to Adrien and this decision has been made in conjunction with him and our partners.
“M-Sport can confirm Adrien will return to action with the team on Rally Spain in a Puma Hybrid Rally1.”
Fourmaux’s absence slims M-Sport’s entry to just three Pumas next week.
Full-timers Craig Breen and Gus Greensmith will once again be in action but will be joined for the first time by Lorenzo Bertelli – making his Rally1 debut and first WRC start since Safari Rally Kenya last year.
However only Breen and Greensmith will be nominated by M-Sport for manufacturer points.