Grégoire Munster may not be the biggest name in the World Rally Championship, but he stands on the brink of history.
By starting this week’s Rally Chile in a Ford Puma Rally1, he will become the first driver to start a WRC event in a Rally1, Rally2 and Rally3 car all in the same season.
It’s quite some feat, but it’s the last thing that will be on the Luxembourger’s mind as he prepares for his top-flight debut.
Handed the chance by Jourdan Serderidis, Munster knows he has an opportunity to impress the service park – particularly as he is tipped to contest Central European Rally after Chile as well.
But his focus might not quite be where you’d expect. The target isn’t to stun everyone and suddenly earn a Rally1 drive, but instead to use this opportunity to improve his performance in WRC2.
Munster joined M-Sport’s fold for the start of 2023, hot off the back of a breakthrough WRC2 victory in Japan last year.
But in a field packed with such quality, the 24-year-old has struggled to make a major impression behind the wheel of a Fiesta Rally2.
He’s already turned to different categories to bank more experience – contesting two Junior WRC events in Sweden and Estonia, and winning the latter.
So he wants to use his Rally1 chance in the same vein and gain knowledge the likes of Andreas Mikkelsen, Oliver Solberg, Gus Greensmith and team-mate Adrien Fourmaux all have over him.
“It’s an incredible opportunity,” Munster said of his Rally1 drive.
“When you look at the guys in front in WRC2 they all have this Rally1 experience so I think it’s a must-have to maybe come back in Rally2 and just have that experience and benefit from it.
“I think it would be a good experience for us to try to enjoy it to the maximum and take out that experience and come back [stronger] in WRC2.”
It’s a mature and measured goal, but Munster will certainly have had worse weekends of learning than this coming one.