Monte-Carlo 2023 ambitious Northerners in WRC2

Adrien Fourmaux sets off again in WRC2 with Ford (photo JMD/Sports5962)

The World Rally Championship begins on Thursday January 19 with the mythical Monte-Carlo rally. As last year, three northern drivers are participating this Monte-Carlo 2023. Seclinois Adrien Fourmaux (M-Sport Ford) drops a notch and from WRC to WRC 2. There he will see Noeuxois Stéphane Lefebvre (Citroën C3 ) and Casselois François Delecour (Skoda Fabia RS). All three have a chance to become famous in the “2nd division” of rallying in the world.

The motoring season opens this week with the traditional Monte-Carlo rally, the first round of the WRC World Rally Championship. As last year, three Northern riders are participating. Certainly the best in the history of the region (with Jose Barbara): Francois Delecour, Stephane Lefebvre and Adrien Fourmaux.

The latter participated last year in the WRC championship. But following a disastrous season for his British team, M-Sport Ford, the Seclin native lost his place in favor of Corsica Pierre-Louis Loubetwho joined the former World Champion Ott Tanak within the official Ford team. However, Fourmaux remained in the World Rally Championship by competing in the WRC2 championship, the 2nd world rally division. And it is with great desire that he participates in the official reconnaissance with his new car, the Ford Rally2.

Adrien Fourmaux was doing a reconnaissance with his teammate Alexandre Coria.

A successful start for Fourmaux in 2023

After the trauma in 2022, Adrien Fourmaux and Alexandre Coria is attacking a more accessible, but nevertheless very competitive championship, with ex-WRC drivers, with young wolves from WRC 3. The French duo started the year well by winning the Jänner Rally in Austria in early January, the first race of the year.

Against many local drivers who entered the Skoda Fabia Rally2, the Northerner won and thus regained confidence ahead of Monte-Carlo. In particular, it is ahead Simon Wagnerauthor of two ERC podiums last year, including one at the Barum Rally!

Adrien Fourmaux in any case, its characteristics and speed were confirmed, by finding a car with a classic engine, the Ford Fiesta Rally2. Which was not the case last year with the apparently ill-fated Ford Puma hybrid.

Stéphane Lefebvre, the safe bet

Fourmaux will face two other northern drivers in WRC2 at Monte-Carlo 2023. The former knows the category well. This is Stéphane Lefebvre. The former official Citroën driver flies to the Belgian rally championship in 2022. But above all, he won the Ypres-Belgium rally in August in WRC2, with a brilliant 6th place overall. He showed on the small roads of Flanders that he can compete with the best WRC2 specialists around the world.

Andy Malfois and Stéphane Lefebvre at the Ypres rally (photo JMD/Sports5962)

Last year in Monte-Carlo, the driver from Noeux-les-Mines retired after… losing a tire in the middle of a special. This time, he will leave with the Citroën C3 with the ambition to take on leading roles. As we saw at Ypres, Lefebvre is still just as fast. He will have Boulonnais by his side Andy Malfoywinner of the Belgian rally as a navigator.

François Delecour, the eternal return

In Monte-Carlo, we will also see with pleasure the “legend François Delecour”. At 60, Casselois continues to run for fun, but always with the same enthusiasm, as evidenced by his nickname: ” Brake caught ». The vice-world rally champion in 1993 (four WRC victories) will drive a private Skoda Fabia. Last year, he finished 3rd in the RGT (Grand Touring) at the wheel of an Alpine A 110, despite a puncture.

François Delecour at the 2021 Le Touquet rally (photo JMD/Sports5962)

The 91st edition of the Monegasque event will start on Thursday 19 January with two special evening stages, and the famous Col du Turini in the first. There is no doubt that we will see the Northerners on the attack this Monte-Carlo 2023.

The 2023 Monte-Carlo Rally programme

Thursday, January 19, 2023 (40.93km)

  • 8:18 pm – SS1 – La Bollène-Vésubie / Col de Turini 1 (15.52 km)
  • 9:11 pm – SS2 – La Cabanette / Col de Castillon (25.41 km)

Friday, January 20, 2023 (106.18km)

  • 09h14 – ES3 – Roure / Beuil 1 (18.33 km)
  • 10:22 am – ES4 – Puget-Théniers / Saint-Antonin 1 (20.06 km)
  • 11:25 am – SS5 – Briançonnet / Entrevaux 1 (14.70 km)
  • 2:08 pm – SS6 – Roure / Beuil 2 (18.33 km)
  • 3:16 pm – ES7 – Puget-Théniers / Saint-Antonin 2 (20.06 km)
  • 4:19 pm – ES8 – Briançonnet / Entrevaux 1 (14.70 km)

The trailer of the 2023 World Rally Championship

Saturday, January 21, 2023 (98.43km)

  • 09:38 – SS9 – Malijai / Puimichel 1 (17.47 km)
  • 11:26 am – SS10 – Saint-Geniez / Thoard 1 (20.79 km)
  • 2:08 pm – ES11 – Malijai / Puimichel 2 (17.47 km)
  • 3:56 pm – ES12 – Saint-Geniez / Thoard 2 (20.79 km)
  • 5:59 pm – SS13 – Ubraye / Entrevaux (21.91 km)

Sunday, January 22, 2023 (68.98 km)

  • 08h01 – SS14 – Luceram / Lantosque 1 (18.97 km)
  • 09h08 – SS15 – La Bollène-Vésubie / Col de Turini 2 (15.52 km)
  • 10:40 am – ES16 – Luceram / Lantosque 2 (18.97 km)
  • 12:18 pm – SS17 – La Bollène-Vésubie / Col de Turini 3 (15.52 km) – Power Stage

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