M-Sport has taken a bet on a young and somewhat inexperienced line-up for the 2021 World Rally Championship season.
The Cumbrian team has announced that Teemu Suninen, Gus Greensmith and Adrien Fourmaux will form their WRC squad for the upcoming season, which kicks off with Rally Monte Carlo later this month.
Greensmith and co-driver Elliott Edmondson will contest their first full campaign in the Ford Fiesta WRC, hoping to build on last year’s three top-ten finishes and a best result of fifth.
Suninen will contest a partial programme this year. He parts ways with co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen. His replacement has yet to be announced.
Sharing the car with Suninen on selected events will be Fourmaux. The Frenchman will also contest a full WRC 2 campaign with the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta Rally2 – starting with the classic opener at Rallye Monte-Carlo. He continues with Belgian co-driver Renaud Jamoul.
The team has also confirmed its livery will remain largely unchanged, albeit with a few subtle changes. A new roof motif is prominent amongst these changes and extends the popular design with further flashes of blue.
Greensmith and Suninen will both sport the Castrol-branded livery at Rallye Monte-Carlo, and a number of Pirelli logos have also been added – the Italian manufacturer becoming the official tyre supplier of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Team Principal, Richard Millener, said: “M-Sport has a long history of supporting young drivers – it’s something that remains very close to Malcolm’s heart, and we remain committed to Teemu, Gus and Adrien as they continue their development in 2021. All three have a lot of talent, and we’ve devised programmes to bring out the best in each driver whilst enabling further progression at the various stages of their careers.
“Gus delivered some impressive split and stage times last year, and it’s now time for him to develop those skills further. We’re delighted to offer him his first full season with the top-specification Fiesta, and want to see him and Elliott take maximum experience from a full rally and test programme – learning not only the rallies, but the intricacies of set-up, engineering and everything that goes into becoming a world-class driver. I know they’re already putting the work in to ensure they make the most of this opportunity, and I’m really keen to see how they develop over the course of the year.
“We all know that Teemu has the speed – it’s something we saw on his very first outing with the Ford Fiesta WRC and we felt it important to find a way for him to continue with us this year. We’ve managed to create a partial WRC programme for him, and will target specific events where he and the Fiesta can be competitive. It’s a shame to have lost Jarmo, but Teemu learnt a lot from the short time they spent together and I’m sure he’ll put that to good use this year.
“Adrien also really impressed us last year, and we’re delighted to offer him another full WRC 2 programme with the Ford Fiesta Rally2 as well as some further outings with the Fiesta WRC. We want to ensure he gets to experience as many rallies as possible – continuing to showcase the performance of the Fiesta Rally2 but also starting to pit himself against the world’s best.
“We will continue to work hard to see if we can increase Teemu’s programme and bring additional top-level drivers into the squad, but we also have to be honest and say that the Covid situation has made things extremely difficult for us. That said, we hope there is light at the end of the tunnel and I know that every single member of the team will continue to give their best as we push for the best possible results in 2021.”