M-SPORT factory driver Adrien Fourmaux bagged victory in the Motorsport UK British Rally Championship, The Malcolm Wilson Rally at the weekend. 

In difficult conditions, Fourmaux and co-driver Alex Coria took their Pirelli-shod Ford Fiesta Rally2 to a convincing victory in the snow-laden Cumbrian stages, finishing 53 seconds ahead of last-year BRC runners-up Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin.

Based at the home of the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team in Cockermouth, the Malcolm Wilson Rally took a new generation of top-flight BRC1 contenders into classic stages in the Lake District forests. 

News and Star: The WRC comes to Cumbria as Fourmaux wins the BRC openerThe WRC comes to Cumbria as Fourmaux wins the BRC opener (Image: Motor Sport UK)

But mother nature delivered a cruel blow in the 48 hours ahead of the event, with heavy snow severely impacting access to the stages, leaving the organisers no choice but to significantly alter the itinerary just hours ahead of the rally start as the planned eight stages became five.

READ MORE: Top rally drivers head to Cockermouth for championship event

Frenchman Fourmax had a right to be upbeat however, setting the fastest time on three stages and a time 17 seconds quicker than anyone else over the first Grizedale test,

"It has been really good fun; a really nice experience this morning with some tricky conditions" said Fourmaux.

News and Star: Fans were treated to top class actionFans were treated to top class action (Image: Motor Sport UK)

"These stages are beautiful and are amazing to drive. Perhaps not so easy with the ice and snow first thing, but these last two passes of Greystoke were just muddy and it was just great fun. Now we are heading off to Mexico which is where I last drove this car on gravel.

"I had no test before today, so this morning’s first Greystoke stage was my first time back in this car for twelve months. Of course, I am happy with a win, yes," he said. 

Now the British Rally Championship switches its focus to asphalt and the first of four back to back asphalt events, as the Jim Clark Rally in May takes crews to the rapid closed road stages of the Scottish Borders.