Loubet explains his “stupid” Estonia mistake

It was an incident-filled rally for the M-Sport driver, who rolled his Puma Rally1, before damaging a wheel and suspension on the final day


M-Sport Ford’s Pierre-Louis Loubet has explained the cause of his “stupid mistake” that put him out of Rally Estonia last weekend.

Loubet had climbed up from 10th to sixth place through the first third of the rally in his Ford Puma Rally1, but ended the opening day by losing over two minutes when he managed to roll and pitch his car onto its side.

After quickly getting out of the car and running for help, several spectators assisted in getting his car back on to the road with all four wheels facing the right direction, allowing him to continue.

But that incident cast him back down to ninth place, and wasn’t the “stupid mistake” he referred to upon his retirement as that actually occurred 10 stages later. 


On Saturday he moved past team-mate Gus Greensmith into eighth place, then on the opening stage of Sunday clouted a rock that damaged a wheel and suspension. It lost him 1m15.3seconds, but the damage meant he was forced to retire before being able to start the following stage.

“I don’t know what to say, I just made a stupid mistake today,” he said. 

“On Friday when we lost sixth place, we had been in a good position, so it was a shame to lose time on that last stage. I was uncomfortable throughout the rest of the weekend after that.

“This morning, I was more focused on the next corner than the previous one, I was thinking about the next one because it was a corner I didn’t like. It’s all on me, and it’s a mistake I won’t be making again because on this event you can’t get away with it.”

Although Loubet’s retirement initially promoted Greensmith to eighth, a transmission failure put him out just a stage after that and left Adrien Fourmaux in sixth as the only M-Sport driver in the top 10. 

That was a position Fourmaux conceded when the rain returned on the powerstage though and he was 1m15.6s off the pace, dropping him to seventh, meaning M-Sport only scored 14 points in Estonia.

As a result, M-Sport has slipped further away from Toyota and Hyundai in the manufacturers’ standings now, and Loubet has dropped to 13th in the driver’s championship.