What can we read into the Fourmaux situation?

Speculation has been that Fourmaux was dropped, despite M-Sport saying the car was simply too damaged

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Are we reading too much into this? M-Sport’s social media message was quite clear on the reason why Adrien Fourmaux won’t be taking the start of next month’s Acropolis Rally Greece. But that won’t stop the chatter.

Some will be predicting this is the end of Fourmaux’s career. Will he be back? Can he be back?

I don’t have the answers to that, but I think it’s probably a touch premature to be casting him aside.

Let’s look at this sensibly. What did M-Sport actually say?

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“Due to his accident on Ypres Rally, it is not possible for the team to repair Adrien Fourmaux’s car in time for Acropolis Rally. Unfortunately it means Adrien and Alex will not compete in Greece, the crew will travel there to take part in recce in preparation for the future.”

Chasing the thinking behind this one, I called Dovenby Hall soon after the tweet was launched.

The response from Malcolm Wilson was straightforward.

“There’s really nothing more to say,” he said. “The car was extensively damaged in Belgium and it can’t be fixed in time.”

Later in the evening, Richard Millener personally took to Twitter too to confirm the reasons Fourmaux wouldn’t be starting in Greece.

What’s very much worth pointing out here is the workload M-Sport is under right now.

There are five rally-ready Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid chassis to play with right now and Fourmaux’s shunt made that four. With a new generation record-breaking six Rally1 entries set for Greece. Fourmaux was set to join Craig Breen, Sébastien Loeb, Gus Greensmith, Pierre-Louis Loubet and Jourdan Serderidis – in his own car run by M-Sport.

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There’s simply not a spare chassis or the manpower to rebuild the car he crashed in Ypres.

So, read into what you want, but there’s no car for Fourmaux to drive.

So, does that mean he’s guaranteed to be back in Auckland?

I wouldn’t say so, no.

Again, the logistics dictate that if there’s a damaged chassis coming back from Acropolis, that will take priority over fixing Fourmaux’s Belgium car. Don’t forget, M-Sport is planning four entries for NZ, with Lorenzo Bertelli returning to the WRC for a Kiwi cameo.

So, Fourmaux’s Rally New Zealand entry is now out of his hands.

The fact that he’s travelling to Greece for the recce indicates that he’s still part of the M-Sport picture, but there can be little doubt he’s drinking in the last chance saloon.

DirtFish has contacted Fourmaux for a response.

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