M-Sport press release
Mixed Debut For The Go Fast Energy World Rally Team
As the first day of competition got underway in Valence today, there were mixed fortunes for the Go Fast Energy World Rally Team. Henning Solberg’s return to Monte Carlo was blighted by misfortune as he suffered from mechanical problems in both the morning and afternoon loops. Elsewhere, Matthew Wilson adopted a cautious approach as the British driver took the opportunity to gain the vital experience needed to prosper on the unforgiving stages of Rallye Monte Carlo.
Being one of the few crews to have gone with the optimal tyre choice for the first loop, Solberg and co-driver Ilka Minor were placed in the perfect position as SS1 got underway. Unfortunately, the duo were subjected to cruel bad luck, suffering two broken rear driveshafts on SS1 which effectively halted any chance of a charge on SS2 and rendering Solberg 29th overall after the opening loop.
The driveshaft issues rectified in service, the Norwegian embarked afresh on SS3. Regrettably, his bad luck continued and brake problems prevented a full-scale attack. This aside, Solberg set some solid times, despite his issues, to climb the leaderboard to 16th overall. Anything can happen in Monte Carlo and the pairing will be looking to make further gains as the rally restarts in the morning.
Elsewhere, Wilson and co-driver Scott Martin took the sensible approach, driving their own rally and collating valuable knowledge of this notoriously difficult event. After finding themselves on the wrong tyre option for SS1, the pairing lost some time. But with stud tyres on for SS2, they recovered to 15th overall.
On a rally where a gamble on tyre choice can prove disastrous, Wilson played it smart over the final loop, a decision which paid dividends as he scaled the leaderboard to finish Day 1 12th overall.
Henning Solberg said:
“I lost the brakes about 15km into SS3 and so could not push to the maximum on SS4. Apart from our problems, for sure the car is feeling good. We’re moving forward and I’m getting more confidence with every stage. We’ll take the same approach tomorrow and hopefully move up the leaderboard.”
Matthew Wilson said:
“Everything seems to be going ok. In SS2 we probably didn’t need the studs on the car and so lost some time with a lot of movement which is not ideal. But the car feels ok.
“For sure we are being very careful on this rally and trying to make the safe tyre choices. We’ve had no prior testing and the uncertainty surrounding the performance of the tyre options meant that I was not in the most confident frame of mind. With there being no SupeRally, we need to take the cautious approach.”