Rally

Fourmaux helping build new WRC Puma for Sweden after Monte Carlo crash

The Frenchman has travelled to M-Sport’s UK base this week to lend his support to the staff as they work on building up a new Puma from scratch in time to compete on the snow of Rally Sweden at the end of the month.

Fourmaux and co-driver Alexandre Coria are lucky to emerge unhurt after a frightening crash in last month’s WRC opener in Monte Carlo.

The 26-year-old misjudged a left hander, ploughing straight into a mountainside, resulting in the Puma being catapulted over the armco barriers and into a ravine, destroying the car in the process.

While the car was retrieved, it was deemed quicker to build up entirely new chassis to compete in Sweden (24-27 February), with Fourmaux electing to make the trip to the UK to help the mechanics complete the build. The transmission and engine will carry over from the car that was involved in the accident in Monte Carlo.

“It was important for me to come and give some support and help to the guys and show that I’m not only there on the rallies, and that we work as a team,” Fourmaux told Autosport.

“They have done a lot of work to build four cars over Christmas time, so it was really disappointing for me and for them to destroy the car so I wanted to help.

“I have been working to rebuild the hybrid unit and the cooling stuff and I’m rebuilding all the cross members and suspension arms on the cars. I have been working in the engine bay too, so it is interesting for me also.

“I know a bit more about the car, so I have a better understanding.

 

“I enjoy spending time with the guys. For sure it is not a nice moment in my career but at least it is good to spend time with them and understand the car.”

M-Sport lead Puma development engineer Tim Jackson said the relatively short timeframe between Monte Carlo and Sweden resulted in the team choosing to build up a new car.

“It was quite bad and that chassis [in Monte Carlo] won’t be used in Sweden as the turnaround has been too tight in order to do that,” he added.

“We had a spare chassis the guys were building anyway so it was just the time economics of what was going to be the quickest way to get a new one built and so using a shell we already in anticipation was the way.

“There have been a few big crashes in testing and for all the manufacturers it [the new spaceframe chassis] has performed pretty well so it wasn’t a surprise. It is good to know that this continues to be the case.”

Read Also:

M-Sport will field four Pumas to contest Rally Sweden with Italian Lorenzo Bertelli set to make his Rally1 debut, joining full-timers Craig Breen, Gus Greensmith and Fourmaux.

The team currently lead the manufacturers’ standings following Sebastien Loeb’s win in Monte Carlo. Breen completed the podium in third ahead of Greensmith in fifth.

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