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WRC Rally Chile

Loubet part ways with WRC co-driver Gilsoul

Pierre-Louis Loubet will no longer compete alongside experienced World Rally Championship co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul.

Pierre-Louis Loubet, Nicolas Gilsoul, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

The M-Sport driver announced on social media that the pair will split ahead of the Central European Rally, which hosts the penultimate round of the WRC season later this month (26-29 October).

Gilsoul joined Loubet for the 2023 season after the former’s previous co-driver Vincent Landais joined eight-time world champion Sebastian Ogier to call the notes for the Frenchman’s partial season with Toyota.

Gilsoul had previously navigated for five-time WRC title runner-up Thierry Neuville before that long-time partnership ended following the 2020 season.    

Loubet’s announcement arrives following a high-speed accident at Rally Chile while running in fourth, where the Frenchman had hinted at a misunderstanding with Gilsoul.

Loubet neglected to mention who will be partnering him for the upcoming asphalt Central European Rally, although Motorsport.com understands Benjamin Veillas will occupy the passenger seat for the Central European Rally. 

Veillas navigated for Ogier in five WRC rounds last year including a win in Spain.    

“We parted ways sooner than expected, despite our shared determination to make a success of our collaboration,” Loubet posted on social media.

Pierre-Louis Loubet, Nicolas Gilsoul, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

Pierre-Louis Loubet, Nicolas Gilsoul, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

Photo by: M-Sport

“The experience you have given me in my first full season in the WRC will be invaluable in the years to come.

“I wish you all the best for the future Nicolas Gilsoul.”

Loubet will pilot one of three M-Sport Ford Pumas at the Central European Rally joining Rally Chile winner Ott Tanak and Gregoire Munster, who is set to make a second Rally1 outing after a debut in Chile.

“We did not test the car on Tarmac yet, so it will be difficult to say what we can expect, or how the car will behave,” Munster told WRC.com. “I think we just have to test and see how it goes. 

“I think we are a bit more Tarmac specialists. We have been driving a lot in Germany and we did the Jannerrallye in Austria and Barum Rally in the Czech Republic. I guess we will be more comfortable on Tarmac, but now it’s also the point of how the car behaves.”

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