M-Sport Ford has received a significant improvement

M-Sport Ford has seen significant improvements in its operations for this season.
Adrien Fourmaux.
Adrien Fourmaux. Photo by: M-Sport Ford WRT
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Although M-Sport Ford does not compete as a full factory team in the World Rally Championship, its operations have nonetheless seen significant enhancements this season.

Ford has been able to test its car in a simulator in North Carolina, USA. This has brought a significant improvement in the car’s performance.

The improvement has been particularly notable on tarmac, and Adrien Fourmaux, who has driven a sensational season, feels that the simulator significantly aided the team at the Croatia Rally.

“I’m really happy because we have come really far with the car since Monte Carlo,” Fourmaux told Autosport.

“The car wasn’t good at all on tarmac, we were struggling so much, but we have done a lot of development in the simulator and on the test,” Fourmaux continued.

Fourmaux started cautiously in Croatia, but his performance improved significantly on Friday afternoon.

“We were searching a little bit at the beginning of the rally, but after Friday afternoon where I did the second fastest time, I found a really good set-up. We have made a big step, but there are things we still need to improve and we are working on it to gain some time,” Fourmaux said.

Fourmaux feels that the simulator has been very beneficial.

“(The simulator) is working and I’m really pleased we have done a good job with the car, and it has been working on this rally. We are using it as a tool to make the car faster and it is working.”

The current testing restrictions of the WRC have made development work particularly difficult for a team like M-Sport, but the simulator is a clear improvement over the past.

“Obviously there is only a certain amount of things you can do with it but it allows us to be a little bit more efficient before we go testing as testing regulations are quite restricted,” team principal Richard Millener explained.

“It also allows the drivers to have a bit more feedback with the engineers and the design team and keep them thinking all the time about what we can do. It gives you a little bit more freedom to come up with some out of the box ideas that we would never try in reality and see what happens, Millener continued.

M-Sport’s season has so far been surprisingly successful. Adrien Fourmaux has already gathered 59 points this season and is currently third in the drivers’ championship standings.

The World Rally Championship will continue next in mid-May on the gravel roads of Portugal.

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