M-Sport’s Ford Fiesta Rally2 will benefit from even more updates later in the season – but the team won’t yet reveal what is being done, or when it is coming.
A new differential was added to the car for last month’s World Rally Championship round in Croatia, which lead driver Adrien Fourmaux declared made an improvement.
But M-Sport’s Rally2 creation is yet to take a WRC2 victory since Jari Huttunen won the Monza Rally in 2021.
Work, therefore, is continuing to deliver a bigger update package for later in the year – although Fourmaux was tight-lipped on what would be coming.
“You will see later in the year,” he told DirtFish. “I will tell you when it will be time.”
M-Sport Ford team principal Richard Millener provided DirtFish with a bit more detail, but said he wasn’t “at liberty” to disclose too much as M-Sport is actually still to decide specifically what improvements it wants to bring onto the car.
“There’s constant development, there is stuff going on,” Millener said.
“I’m not really at liberty to say too much at the minute because we haven’t finalized the development plan and we need to undertake all the ideas we’ve got before we decide which ones… we’ve only got limited jokers.
“But the bottom line we want to tell people is: yes, we are continually developing and continually moving forward.
“I think it was really quite exciting to see the pace of Adrien in Croatia against the new [Škoda] Fabia especially which is the current benchmark, and OK he had a technical issue on the Friday which unfortunately took away the chance of a podium, which was effectively a loose bolt unfortunately which caused that so it wasn’t a mechanical issue as such.
“But it was, in some ways, a very easy fix, but it goes to show how close the competition is at the top of the field.
“The pace of the car was the important thing to talk about, because they came on leaps and bounds with it and we’re really getting there now.
“Again we knew the pace of the car was there and the more time Adrien spends in the car the more he’s able to extract from it, so we’re pushing that car as well because we’ve got to keep up with the other manufacturers and I think the plan is… to win WRC2 is difficult.
“There’s 10/15 top level drivers who can all win it, but the goal is really, and the key is, to showcase the speed of the car over the course of the events.
“If you win as well, fantastic, but so much can happen. One puncture, one spin, one small technical issue – look at how many people were affected in Croatia.
“You’ve got [Nicolas] Ciamin with the crash, you had [Erik] Cais off on the first stage, you had punctures, there’s all sorts going on on every rally, so when you have that many good people there’s a bit of luck involved as well.
“But the goal for us is to showcase the car and I think we’re doing that now.”
Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah, Fourmaux, Grégoire Munster, Lucas Simões and Robert Virves will drive the Fiesta Rally2 on Rally Portugal this week in WRC2.