M-Sport Ford are set to compete on the first gravel event of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship season in Portugal this weekend.

The Cumbrian team, who won the event back in 2017 with seven-time WRC champion Sébastien Ogier before taking a double podium a year later, is set to have Adrien Fourmaux and Gus Greensmith again behind the wheel of their two Fiesta WRC’s.

Fourmaux, who impressed in Croatia as he made his top-level WRC debut, ended the event last time out in a fine fifth overall and regularly set competitive stage times against much more experienced drivers.

“I’m just really happy and really excited to start, like I have been since Rich (Millener) told me I would be doing this rally,” said Fourmaux ahead of the rally this weekend.

“I was here as a spectator in 2019 but this will be my first time competing on this rally and I know it will be a big challenge. But I hope to have a good pace and enjoy all the week, like I did in Croatia.”

Lining up alongside the Frenchman in the team’s second WRC-spec Fiesta will again be British driver Greensmith, who will be looking build upon his Croatia performance where he was joined by experienced co-driver Chris Patterson for the first time.

Greensmith, who finished the event in Croatia in seventh, is set to compete in Portugal again after making his top-class WRC debut on the rally when it last took place in 2019.

“When I look at this rally, I think more to how I enjoy being behind the wheel rather than how tough the rally actually is,” added Greensmith.

“It’s pretty cool to come to a country that loves rallying so much and it’s the event of the season that I look forward to the most because of this.”

This weekend also sees the team run a pair of Rally2-spec Fiesta’s in WRC2, with Finn Teemu Suninen again partnering reigning Junior WRC champion Tom Kristensson this weekend.

Suninen, who made his first appearance in WRC2 in Croatia since Rallye Monte Carlo back in 2018, ended the event second in class behind Citroen driver Mads Østberg and will go up against a number of experienced competitors including former M-Sport driver Esapekka Lappi.