M-Sport driver Pierre-Louis Loubet announces new co-driver for Central European Rally

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MOTORSPORTS M-Sport driver Pierre-Louis Loubet announces new co-driver for Central European Rally

Festus Chuma 15:33 - 19.10.2023

M-Sport's Pierre-Louis Loubet parts ways with former co-driver after a challenging season, seeks to regain form and confidence in racing

M-Sport driver Pierre-Louis Loubet has unveiled his new co-driver, Benjamin Veillas, for the upcoming Central European Rally.

The decision comes in the wake of his recent split with former co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul, who had been a prominent figure in the world of rallying.

Loubet and Gilsoul had joined forces at the beginning of the 2023 World Rally Championship, aiming to conquer the challenging world of rally racing.However, their partnership hit a rocky road, leading to their separation.

The circumstances surrounding their parting were shrouded in mystery, as Loubet declined to comment on the reasons behind the decision. Still, he did allude to the fact that it had become "impossible" to continue their collaboration.

"It's not something that I wanted [to change a co-driver], but it is what it is, so now we need to do it," Loubet stated as per DirtFish. "For every driver, it creates a bit of instability, but it was for me impossible to continue."

The news of this change in co-driver comes at a challenging time for Loubet, whose first full-time campaign with M-Sport Ford has been beset by mechanical issues and driving mistakes.

These setbacks have left him languishing in 11th place in the championship, with a best result of sixth. Despite the tough season, Loubet is determined to turn things around and regain his competitive edge.

Following a successful first test with Benjamin Veillas, Loubet expressed his satisfaction with the new partnership.

"With Benjy during the test, everything was fine, so [I'm] very happy about it," he shared. "For the rally, it will be the first with Benjamin, so [I'll] try just to build the confidence and to just try to do a normal rally," he added.

Adapting to a new co-driver presents its own set of challenges, and Loubet has set realistic expectations for the Central European Rally.

"Honestly, after the route that we take, after a difficult season, with a new co-driver, I will just try to do a good rally," he explained. "But in terms of position, it's not the time. I think in Chile we started to go for it as the pace was there, we were leading the stage before the crash, but it didn't work out. I will say nothing about results; it's just to go through, get back the confidence and try to build for the future."

Benjamin Veillas, who parted ways with Sébastien Ogier a year ago, is no stranger to the rally scene. He has made three starts in rallies this year since his separation from Ogier, all of them taking place in his native France. His experience and previous success in Rally1 cars make him a valuable addition to Loubet's team.