M-Sport Ford adds Pontus Tidemand to Rally GB WRC line-up

The M-Sport Ford World Rally Championship team will field a third Fiesta WRC for Pontus Tidemand on Rally GB

M-Sport Ford adds Pontus Tidemand to Rally GB WRC line-up

Tidemand, 28, is already returning to M-Sport for next week's Rally Turkey, having tackled the first two rallies of the season in one of its factory Fords.

The WRC 2 and Asia Pacific Rally champion has only competed in Wales three times, but he has a strong record - winning his class in a Skoda twice and finishing second on the other occasions including last season when he placed a factory Fabia R5 10th overall in Britain.

Tidemand, who finished 20th and eighth overall in Monte Carlo and Sweden respectively, wants to use his first GB start in the top class to demonstrate his potential to teams for 2020.

"It's such a positive boost to know that I have another rally waiting, especially this close after Turkey," said Tidemand.

"It's important to have a bigger plan and I really want to show my progress and that I belong here in the World Rally Championship.

"I'm really grateful towards M-Sport and my local partners for making this happen.

"Wales Rally GB is an event that I like a lot - and the roads remind me of those we have back home in Sweden.

"I have great memories from Wales, but this time it will be an even bigger challenge, but I'm excited to see what I can do."

Tidemand's Turkey appearance has ended up being as Elfyn Evans's effective stand-in, whereas in Wales the team will field three cars.

Turkey will be the last of three WRC rounds Evans is sitting out due to the back injury he sustained on the non-championship Rally Estonia in July.

Tidemand's deal for Turkey was set up when Evans's return date was still uncertain, with the plan being that he would be in a third car if Evans was back or representing the team alongside regular Teemu Suninen if not.

M-Sport team principal Richard Millener agreed with Tidemand's assessment that his upcoming drives were a a chance to impress the service park for 2020.

"I think all of the manufacturers will be keen to see how he progresses over these next two events," said Millener.

"We know how competitive he was in WRC 2 - especially in Wales - and I'm looking forward to monitoring his progress over these next few weeks."

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