M-Sport WRC2 campaigns for Eric Camilli and Teemu Suninen

M-Sport will enter its 2016 works World Rally Car driver Eric Camilli and former Toyota protege Teemu Suninen in the 2017 WRC2 series

M-Sport WRC2 campaigns for Eric Camilli and Teemu Suninen

Camilli was demoted from the main M-Sport WRC team to make way for Sebastien Ogier this year.

He will tackle a full seven-round WRC2 programme in a Ford Fiesta R5 and is expected to compete in a World Rally Car again later in the year.

Finn Suninen, a WRC2 title contender in an ORECA-run Skoda last year, will compete on at least five WRC2 rallies, starting with next month's Rally Sweden.

M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson said Camilli's move to WRC2 did not reflect a lessened commitment to the Frenchman.

"Eric and [co-driver] Benjamin [Veillas] might be taking a step back this year, but it by no means undermines our faith in their potential," said Wilson.

"This year, Eric will be able to gain experience of as many events as possible without the pressures that come from competing at the highest level.

"Experience counts for a lot in this game and, if he can perform as we expect, it shouldn't be too long before we see him back behind the wheel of a World Rally Car."

Camilli underlined his need for more seat time at rallying's highest level - last year was his first full season in the WRC.

"The important thing for me this year is to continue to gain as much experience of as many World Rally Championship events as possible," said Camilli.

"In rallying, experience is everything and it will be really important for me to continue this progression."

The WRC2 entry for next week's Monte Carlo season-opener also includes ex-Volkswagen WRC driver Andreas Mikkelsen and 2011 Monte winner Bryan Bouffier.

"When you see the drivers who will compete in the WRC2 category at Rally Monte Carlo, it is very impressive and there is a real possibility for us to show our potential," Camilli added.

"The objective for the season will be to continue our development and to gain the experience and consistency that could see us back at the top level as soon as possible."

Suninen was previously contracted to Toyota factory motorsport arm TMG, and Wilson said he had long been a fan.

"Teemu gained a lot of attention last year and there were a lot of people watching him in the WRC2 championship," he said.

"He's a young guy with a lot of talent, and it's great to have him behind the wheel of the Fiesta R5.

"We've had great success with Finns in the past, and Teemu could well form another chapter of that story.

"He's ambitious, and determined, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can deliver."

Suninen added: "My goal for this season is to improve on last year when I finished second in WRC2.

"I know that it will be a big challenge, but with more experience under my belt I feel ready and in a good position."

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