M-Sport press release
Double Finish For Go Fast On Maiden Outing
With only the final ‘Power Stage’ left to run on the last day of competition in Monte-Carlo, the Go Fast Energy World Rally Team completed their maiden outing in the World Rally Championship (WRC) with a double finish from their drivers, Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson. Following 433km of competitive stages, Solberg and Wilson overcame early misfortunes to finish 13th and 11th respectively.
The WRC curtain-raiser was an eventful first round for Solberg and co-driver Ilka Minor. Blighted by cruel bad luck over the rally’s opening stages in Valence, the pairing succumbed to two broken rear driveshafts, issues with the brakes on their Ford Fiesta RS WRC, an engine misfire and a shunt which damaged the left-rear wheel and suspension. Despite their fair share of misfortune, and with no pre-season testing in the lead-up to the event, the pairing battled on. Setting competitive top-ten times throughout, Solberg proved he has some real pace in the car.
The Norwegian’s speed continued into the rally’s final Power Stage with the sixth fastest time, just five seconds shy of pace-setter, Sébastien Loeb. With the WRC now embarking on what will effectively be Solberg’s home event at Rally Sweden next month, the Norwegian will be hoping to translate the form he has demonstrated here into some strong points on snow.
Caution and consistency was the name of the game for Wilson and co-driver Scott Martin. Well aware of the pitfalls Rallye Monte-Carlo can inflict on the unsuspecting, Wilson opted for the sensible approach – driving his own rally to collate the valuable knowledge and experience needed to prosper on this notoriously difficult event. Using the legendary stages to explore alternate set-ups on his Ford Fiesta RS WRC, the British driver’s times improved over the course of the rally.
Scaling the leaderboard with growing confidence behind the wheel of his Fiesta, another solid time through the Power Stage saw Wilson secure 11th place overall. The Brit will be looking to make further gains as the season heads to the only snow rally of the year in Sweden next month.
Henning Solberg (13th) said:
“The car was much better today. We made some changes so I have to say if I could have started the rally like this it could have been quite different!
“But that’s the way it is. We’re here and that’s what counts. Really good rally. Really good.”
Matthew Wilson (11th) said:
“We didn’t know what the rally was going to be like at all, or even if we would make the start. This has been a totally different experience for me. But we made it to the end and that is what counts here.
“It was a difficult rally for sure. But to compete in Monte-Carlo is incredible. The atmosphere was fantastic. Especially on the stages last night – really fun to drive”