Hirvonen, Evans join M-Sport for 2014 WRC season

M-Sport will field team returnee Mikko Hirvonen and WRC2 graduate Elfyn Evans in its World Rally Championship team in 2014

Hirvonen, Evans join M-Sport for 2014 WRC season

Hirvonen and Evans will run as the official M-Sport World Rally Team, with discussions over a title sponsor still ongoing.

Robert Kubica will also be part of the M-Sport line-up, but run under the Lotos WRT banner.

AUTOSPORT's top 10 WRC drivers of 2013

Hirvonen is returning to M-Sport having been part of its factory Ford programme from 2006-11.

During that stint he took 11 of his 12 WRC wins and came within a point of beating Sebastien Loeb to the 2009 title.

He then left for a less successful period at Citroen.

"To be back in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC, it really feels as though I am coming home," said Hirvonen.

"The last two years were really good for myself and Jarmo [Lehtinen, co-driver], but although we will take a lot of good memories with us, we didn't necessarily achieve what we set out to do.

"Joining M-Sport will give us a good chance to try again - a fresh start in a car we know we can be competitive in. We are motivated to win, and we are in the best possible place to do that."

LEARNING YEAR FOR EVANS

M-Sport backed 2012 WRC Academy champion Evans through his WRC2 campaign last year.

He also stepped into Nasser Al-Attiyah's World Rally Car for Rally Italy and finished sixth on his top-level debut.

The 24-year-old Welshman is the son of 1996 British champion and sometime factory Ford WRC driver Gwyndaf Evans.

"The great thing about this programme is that it gives us time," said Evans.

"The whole team is behind us and we have a long-term plan to get to where we all, ultimately, want to be. This is just the first step and I am extremely grateful to [team boss] Malcolm [Wilson] and M-Sport for this opportunity and their belief in my future.

"Of course we are under no illusion that it is going to be an easy year. We need to view it as a learning curve.

"There are a lot of specialist events that I have never previously contested, and the first half of the season will be about getting to the end of each rally with as much knowledge and experience as possible.

"Having Mikko and Jarmo in the team is certainly a big positive for us. They know what it takes to win at this level and we can learn a lot from them."

shares
comments
Time to believe in Meeke
Previous article

Time to believe in Meeke

Next article

Francois Delecour seals Monte Carlo Rally return with M-Sport

Francois Delecour seals Monte Carlo Rally return with M-Sport
How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career Plus

How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career

Motorsport can be brutal at times. One moment a driver can be the next big thing, but it can spiral in the other direction so quickly. Thankfully, sometimes drivers receive second chances. And Esapekka Lappi has taken his World Rally Championship lifeline in both hands

WRC
Sep 28, 2022
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Plus

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022
How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders Plus

How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders

After runaway World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera made his first major mistake of the season, the chance to take advantage was wide open for the chasing pack. Several of his rivals faltered to grasp the opportunity, but Ott Tanak made no such mistake and demonstrated his class with a third win of the campaign

WRC
Aug 22, 2022
Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life Plus

Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life

Toyota locked out the top four places in the World Rally Championship's recent Safari Rally Kenya in a clear indication of its GR Yaris Rally1 hybrid's pace and durability. Autosport was recently given a tour of the new factory where its cars are designed, tested and built, and it reveals much about the commitment of the Japanese marque to continued WRC success

WRC
Aug 19, 2022
How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession Plus

How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession

Finland may have a small population, but it has long enjoyed rallying success. Now that the nation has a new star to cheer in the form of Kalle Rovanpera, interest in the discipline is surging once again

WRC
Aug 10, 2022
How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming Plus

How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming

Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota went into Rally Finland as overwhelming favourites but came away as runners-up to a resurgent Ott Tanak and Hyundai. While it may have dampened the homecoming party, it still moved the Finn closer to the ultimate World Rally Championship prize

WRC
Aug 8, 2022
Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home Plus

Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home

Hyundai is one of the World Rally Championship's big three, and has a brand-new travelling facility befitting of that status. The team invited Autosport for a behind-the-scenes look at its state-of-the-art HQ, which comes complete with all the bells and whistles you'd expect of a top Formula 1 outfit

WRC
Jul 27, 2022
How Rovanpera's latest Estonia masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped Plus

How Rovanpera's latest Estonia masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped

After trailing Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans for much of Rally Estonia's opening day, WRC points leader Kalle Rovanpera took advantage of a change in the weather and never looked back afterwards. Winning for a fifth time this year at the scene of his 2021 breakthrough, and with a breathtaking powerstage bonus for good measure, his advantage is already looking difficult to topple

WRC
Jul 18, 2022