Returning Loeb to lead Ford team at Safari Rally

M-Sport Ford

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team drivers and crew pose for a photo at the JKIA hangar in Embakasi, Nairobi on June 22, 2022.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The team is led by the nine-time world champion, legendary Sébastien Loeb, who is making a return to the WRC Safari Rally after two decades.
  • The 48-year-old will be marking his first Kenya start since 2002 when he steered a Citroën Xsara to fifth place, two years before starting his WRC dominance.

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team drivers expect a more challenging World Rally Championships Safari Rally that starts Thursday by virtue of having more entries this year.

The team brought two cars last year and all made it back to the finishing ramp, with Gus Greensmith and Adrien Fourmaux finishing fourth and fifth respectively.

The team is led by the nine-time world champion, legendary Sébastien Loeb, who is making a return to the WRC Safari Rally after two decades.

The 48-year-old will be making his first Kenya start since 2002 when he steered a Citroën Xsara to fifth place, two years before starting his WRC dominance.

“We had a strong result last despite having two cars. We now have five cars, which come along with a bigger challenge,” said Greensmith, who will be co-driven by Jonas Andersson.

“We hope to bring all the cars back to the finishing ramp on Sunday,” explained Greensmith on Wednesday when one of their sponsors, Kenya Airways, hosted them at their airlines hangar in Embakasi, Nairobi.  

Greensmith predicted a tougher rally this time around compared to last year, adding that rains could change the dynamics of the event.

“Rains will render the course slippery, hence a slow race. A dry course will make things fast. We can only wait and see,” said Greensmith, noting that anybody can win. “It all depend s on what will happen on the day and the route.”

Once again, Greensmith took his time away from the rally to visit the Nairobi National Park on Monday.

“We visited the places again and it’s amazing you people have wildlife next to the capital,” said Greensmith.

Fourmaux noted that some part of the route are rougher than last year hence a big challenge but said their cars are designed for such conditions.

“It won’t be easy to get all the five cars to the top especially at Safari Rally, which for sure is the toughest rally in the WRC series,” said Fourmaux, explaining that they have to get their act right so as to get all the cars back to the podium.

Fourmaux said they are pleased with how the season is rolling out. “Everything is feeling good and going on well. It feels nice to be back in Kenya,” said Fourmaux.

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

Craig Breen/Paul Nagle

Sébastien Loeb/Isabelle Galmiche

Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson

Adrien Fourmaux /Alexandre Coria

Jourdan Serderidis/Frederic Miclotte

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