Shocking split shakes up M-Sport as Loubet and Gilsoul part ways

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MOTORSPORTS Shocking split shakes up M-Sport as Loubet and Gilsoul part ways

Festus Chuma 12:00 - 14.10.2023

M-Sport's Pierre-Louis Loubet splits from co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul ahead of next WRC race, ending a promising but troubled partnership, leaving fans puzzled.

M-Sport driver Pierre-Louis Loubet has parted ways with his co-driver, Nicolas Gilsoul, just days before the next World Rally Championship (WRC) round. 

This unexpected split comes less than 10 months after the duo began their collaboration and has left fans and the racing world buzzing with speculation.

Loubet and Gilsoul's partnership, which held great promise at its inception, currently stands at 11th place in the WRC standings. 

With two sixth-place finishes being their best results, their journey has been marked by ups and downs. 

Their most recent outing on Rally Chile ended prematurely on stage three when their car rolled out of the event, marking the first time they retired from a rally due to a major crash. 

Out of the 11 WRC rounds they've participated in, they have only managed to finish in the points in four of them.

In a heartfelt message posted on Facebook, Loubet expressed his feelings about the unexpected split, saying, "Our paths separate faster than expected despite our joint determination to make our collaboration a success. The experience you brought me for this first full season in the WRC will be treasured for years to come. Wish you the best for the future, Nicolas Gilsoul."

As of now, Nicolas Gilsoul has not made any public comment about the end of their partnership, leaving fans curious about his perspective on the situation. 

Additionally, Pierre-Louis Loubet has not yet announced a replacement co-driver for the upcoming Central European Rally scheduled for October 26-29. The season-ending Rally Japan looms on November 16-19, further adding to the intrigue surrounding the M-Sport team.

Nicolas Gilsoul, well-known for his long-time partnership with Thierry Neuville, worked closely with the Belgian driver for many years. 

Their collaboration began in 2009 and became a full-time partnership during the 2011 Intercontinental Challenge season. The duo achieved notable success, with Neuville finishing fifth in the standings in the 2011 campaign. In the subsequent year, they made the transition to the WRC together.

From 2012 to 2020, Gilsoul and Neuville secured an impressive 13 WRC victories together and were runners-up in the championship standings on five occasions. 

However, just before the start of the 2021 season, they decided to part ways, marking the end of an era in WRC. 

In 2022, Nicolas Gilsoul co-drove for Gino Bux, further cementing his reputation as a respected co-driver in the motorsport world.