Loeb Joins M-Sport’s Ford World Rally Team 2022 Monte Carlo Lineup 

This upcoming season of the World Rally Challenge marks the first year using hybrid powertrains. One driver, less familiar with the newest hybrid tech, but comfortable with mega-powered machinery, will make a valiant return to the sport which brought him so much success.

Coming Home

For the 2022 season, nine-time FIA World Rally Champion, Sébastien Loeb, will join the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team and add to a truly talented lineup. The legendary Frenchman will approach 2022 with the same sensible approach he always has. This time though, he’ll have to manage the extra demands of a hybrid-powered Ford Puma Rally1 car.

Loeb is one of those rare drivers who’s been able to prove themselves in a variety of disciplines. A former electrician who had to fight his way into rally, he’s proven over his twenty-year career just how far persistence and a calm head can take you. The man’s never tried to be Colin McRae—he’s instead a driver whose secured his titles through consistency and cool-headed driving. Avoiding incidents does more for points than an exuberant driving style. This cool head has also helped him adapt to a wide variety of cars.

“It was a pleasure to discover the new technology found in the Puma Rally1 cars, I think it is quite similar to the 2017 cars but with a hybrid system added on it. It makes it a bit more challenging to use and it is exciting to have something new to manage in the car,” said Loeb. “When I tested the car I was really impressed by how well balanced it is and how powerful it is with the hybrid, I really enjoyed it.”

“I like what I do. I always enjoying driving, but when I do a WRC event it is just an amazing feeling. It is something I enjoy a lot, I think I can still be competitive, OK—Monte-Carlo is maybe not the easiest event to start with a team as there can be some tricky conditions. I have some good memories from this rally and it is always an incredible atmosphere around the rally,” Loeb added.

In Good Company

Loeb will join Adrien Fourmaux, Craig Breen, and Gus Greensmith in Monte Carlo. Fourmaux, with only five years of rally experience, joined to the WRC in 2019 and quickly made a mark. During his first season in WRC2, behind the wheel of an M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally2, he snagged two podium finishes. One was at Rallye Monte Carlo, where he finished third; and the other at Rally GB, where he secured second.

The 2021 season saw Fourmaux graduate into the Ford Fiesta WRC. This is where he achieved a career best of fifth overall. More than just a respectable finish in the points, Fourmaux also accomplished a lifelong aim: a WRC victory. This win came at Safari Rally Kenya, where he finished 4.1-seconds ahead of the opposition.

With such a strong lineup driving for total of seven World Rally Championship titles, 61 overall victories, 239 podiums and a record breaking 268 consecutive points finishes, there’s a good chance Monte Carlo will go swimmingly for the M-Sport team.

 

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About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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