• Our drivers are used to a little bit of tough conditions-Millener
• From the look of things, it going to be very demanding-Millener
M-Sport Ford World Rally Team remains solid and positive of a great outing on the WRC Safari Rally despite the tough gravel roads preferred for the iconic event this year.
Team Principal Richard Millener told Motorsport411 that the iconic Kenyan round will no doubt be a scintillating experience for his drivers given their knack for difficult conditions.
"Our drivers are used to a little bit of tough conditions. You have to understand how the tyres are going to work, so there are lots of brand new challenges that the teams will have to cope with to make sure they are prepared as much as possible for Safari," he said adding: "It's a new event for everyone so they have to make new pace-notes for the new route and they will have two days to do so."
The MLS port boss says that the Ford Fiesta WRC 2021 car is strong enough to tackle the Kenyan event. "Our drivers are equally strong and can perform well on new rallies, so I don’t see any reason why we cannot perform there strongly as well."
Millener is nevertheless convinced that Safari will be a demanding drive -hence the need for extra caution."From the look of things, it going to be very demanding; quite quick in places but I expect if its bumpy then there are some sections which are going to be very rough and we really have to be careful," he observes.
"In the Equator Rally, there was heavy rain on the first day and that made a huge difference to the roads. If that's going to be the case, then you have to be a lot more clever as a driver as opposed to solid speed because you don't want to take unnecessary risks and be affected by the monsoon rains."
For Millener, Safari remains the only event on his wish list."It was in the calendar just before I began. So I have always seen it on TV programs or heard of many stories about the fabled event. Although it might be a slightly different challenge from what was back in the day, you know the days are a little bit more structured now."
Millener observes that any rally which is new always provides new entertainment and from the videos and previous rallies he has seen in the last 12 months, the M-Sport supremo anticipates an action-packed weekend.
"I am in contact with Ian Campbell who is doing a lot of work with your governing body to help them understand the rallies. He he has told me a little bit about Safari terrain and from his description, I believe its going be very interesting."
Millener believes there is a fine balance and that the rough will be interesting for the cars and the teams to make sure that they drive sensibly."When it's too rough you get so many retirements in the competition. And when you have the rallies not quite as rough, you get really close results."