Cumbria’s M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm claimed fourth place at last weekend’s Rallye Monte-Carlo - securing their best Monte result on their FIA World Rally Championship debut with EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC.

Recovering from a difficult start, the Finns bounced back - learning with every kilometre and gaining confidence to head into the final day of competition in a battle for fourth place with nine-time World Champion Sébastien Loeb.

Putting the seven-time Monte winner under pressure, Lappi came out on top - securing the position as well as an additional point for the fifth fastest time through the Power Stage.

In the sister car, Teemu Suninen and Jarmo Lehtinen finished eighth place overall. The young Finn was quick when the conditions were more consistent, and he proved that again on the final day.

Focused on showing his pace through the Power Stage, Suninen split the top-three and was fastest through the second half of the stage - securing an additional three championship points for the third fastest time.

“We’re coming away from this one with a really strong result,” enthused Cockermouth-based M-Sport team principal, Richard Millener.

“It was great to see Esapekka gaining confidence and coming out on top in the battle with Loeb. Fourth was the best we could have done this weekend, and he focused on himself to get the job done.

“It was also pretty satisfying to see Teemu split the top-three on the Power Stage. You could see from the splits that he had the pace when the conditions were more consistent, and he proved that again this afternoon. It’s been a solid start, and I think the team can be really proud of the way they picked themselves up after the initial disappointment at the beginning of the weekend.”