Pontus Tidemand will return to the wheel of the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC to contest the eleventh round of the FIA World Rally Championship at next month’s Rally Turkey.
Partnered by Norwegian co-driver Ola Fløene, the pairing were in action at Rallye Monte-Carlo as well as Rally Sweden earlier this year, and are now keen to show what they can do with the top‑specification Fiesta on gravel.
The Swede has proven ability on all surfaces, and gravel is no exception – all but one of his 11 WRC 2 victories the result of impressive performances on various loose-surface events.
Having contested Rally Turkey last year, Tidemand knows what to expect but will also complete a rough-gravel test with the team in preparation – getting to know the limits of the Fiesta WRC on some of the toughest terrain the championship has to offer.
Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:
“It’s great to see Pontus back in the team and back behind the wheel of the Ford Fiesta WRC. This is something a lot of people wanted to see – myself included – and I’m looking forward to seeing how he performs in Turkey.
“He didn’t have the best of luck earlier this year – road position and some technical issues working against him – but when you take all of that into account it was a really solid debut and we’re keen to see what he can do on gravel.
“Pontus is an all-rounder who’s competitive on all surfaces. He’s got the talent and we want to see him take the next step up in his career. He’ll complete a rough-gravel test with the team in preparation for Turkey, and we know he’ll make the most of the opportunity.”
Pontus Tidemand said:
"I'm so excited to be back in the FIA World Rally Championship, and back with the M-Sport team – I've been waiting for this since we completed Rally Sweden in February! I'm so happy that it's finally happening and want to thank M-Sport and my local partners for their continued support, and all the people who have helped me.
“The Ford Fiesta WRC is the ultimate car to drive and even though there were a lot of new things to learn in Monte-Carlo and Sweden, I loved the car from day one.
“I'm fully focused on preparing as thoroughly as possible because I know from last year that Turkey is a really tough rally – but I'm up for the challenge. I'm hoping to have good progression during the rally and that I'll be able to be more competitive now that I've got some experience under my belt."