M-Sport Ford World Rally Team are pleased to confirm that Bryan Bouffier will take to the wheel of the third EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC for two rounds of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship – Rallye Monte-Carlo and the Tour de Corse.
The Frenchman has strong knowledge of both events, and his unrivalled experience will provide a significant asset on what are considered two of the championship’s most specialised rallies.
Having contested the Monegasque event for the past eight years, and the Corsican event for the past seven, Bouffier’s knowledge is unequalled. As a past winner of both rallies, the Frenchman has expertise when it comes to understanding the challenging conditions that have come to typify the two legendary events.
Whilst contesting the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in 2011, Bouffier secured something every driver wants to achieve – a Rallye Monte-Carlo victory.
Three years later as part of the FIA World Rally Championship, he came close to a second victory – mastering the elements to take an early lead with his Fiesta before having to settle for second place behind Ogier.
In 2013, he also mastered the Tour de Corse as part of the FIA European Rally Championship. Locked in an intense battle for the win, the tricky final day conditions saw Bouffier pull clear with a proficient approach to tyre strategy.
All of these elements will make the Frenchman a strong addition to the team when the Cumbrian squad start their title defence in just over two weeks’ time.
Bryan Bouffier said:
“My nights are a lot shorter now that I know I will be driving one of these amazing cars, and I have already done a lot of kilometres with the Ford Fiesta WRC in my dreams.
“I honestly didn’t think I would get an opportunity to drive this car – not even on test – so I am very excited. It’s always a great pleasure to work with Malcolm and the M-Sport team, and their amazing success in 2017 makes me very proud to work with them again.
“Monte and Corsica are two very different events, but they are also two of my favourites. They’re the two ‘French’ rounds of the season and it is always a pleasure to drive on home soil – even more so with this new car!
“My plan is to be relaxed and to have fun. I would also love to score some manufacturer points for the team – that would just be the icing on the cake!”
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“It’s great to have Bryan on board for Rallye Monte-Carlo and the Tour de Corse. When it comes to these events, it’s fair to say that his experience is unrivalled. These are two of the most specialised rallies on the calendar and the conditions and tyre selections can so often determine who succeeds. With Bryan’s knowledge, we will have another string to our bow as we look to defend our championship titles.”