M-Sport sensation Gregoire Munster revs up for Rally de Portugal

M-Sport sensation Gregoire Munster revs up for Rally de Portugal

Festus Chuma 15:00 - 08.05.2024

M-Sport Ford driver Gregoire Munster aims for success at Rally de Portugal drawing from rigorous pre-event testing and past challenges.

M-Sport Ford driver Gregoire Munster is all set to compete in the challenging terrains of Rally de Portugal from May 9 to 12.

Following a series of impressive performances Munster is eager to tackle the gravel with renewed vigor and strategy bringing a fresh perspective to one of the World Rally Championship's (WRC) most beloved events.

The Rally de Portugal is known for its rough and technical sections, demanding high levels of precision and endurance from the drivers and their vehicles.

"We had a good pre-event test, with two days of testing last week. Portugal will be a lot like Sardinia, a bit of a tricky one for us because we don’t have a lot of experience compared to our fellow competitors," Munster shared in an interview with M-Sport portal.

"Thanks to my great idea to roll the car on the first stage of the rally last year, it means we lack the knowledge of the stages, so we will try to grab a lot of experience in both Portugal and Sardinia to move forward into the second part of the season’s gravel rallies with confidence," he added.

The event will kick off with a popular ceremonial start in Coimbra, followed by the iconic Lousada city super special stage. Here, pairs of cars will race side-by-side in an electrifying showdown that draws thousands of fans annually. 

Over the course of the rally drivers will face 22 special stages covering a total of 337 competitive kilometres around the picturesque city of Porto.

One of the most daunting tasks will be Saturday’s Amarante stage renowned for being one of the longest and most grueling stages of the WRC season at 37 kilometres.

This will be followed by the famous Fafe jump on Sunday where rally cars are known to launch over 50 metres providing a spectacular display of rallying prowess and a real treat for the spectators.

Drivers will also need to manage high cockpit temperatures and deal with the dust from the dry gravel stages which can significantly impact visibility and car performance. 

Friday will test the crews' endurance with a long day of back-to-back stages, with only a tyre-fitting zone break separating the morning and afternoon loops.

Gregoire Munster, the son of Belgian rally legend Bernard Munster, began his racing career in 2017 in the Opal Adam Cup in Germany. 

His potential was soon recognized by Hyundai Motorsport who enlisted him as a Customer Racing Junior in 2020. 

His prowess in the WRC’s support classes and his performance improvements earned him recognition as the most improved WRC driver of 2022 surpassing even WRC2 champion Emil Lindholm and World Rally champion Kalle Rovanperä.

After a stint with Hyundai Munster moved to M-Sport in 2023 to compete in the WRC-2 category and made significant strides leading to his promotion to a full-time Rally1 seat for the 2024 season.

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