M-Sport, the 2017 World Rally manufacturers champions announced on Tuesday evening that 2017 World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier will continue with the British team for the 2018 World Rally Championship driving the in the Ford Fiesta WRC alongside his co-driver Julien Engrassia.
The Cumbrian based outfit have also confirmed that Welsh driver, Elfyn Evans and his co-driver Daniel Barritt, who secured their first WRC event win at Evans’ home event at the Welsh Rally GB will step up to the second Ford Fiesta WRC vacated by Ott Tanak from the D-Mack Tyres team.
M-Sport Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE commented on the news saying:
o have secured both Sébastien and Elfyn is brilliant news for the team. We’ve been working towards this goal for some time, so to finally have it confirmed is fantastic and means that we can now focus our attention on the continued development ahead of next season.
“In Sébastien and Elfyn, we have a strong chance of defending our titles. It won’t be easy. Our rivals certainly won’t have sat still and I’m expecting an even closer battle for the championship, but with these two crews we have a good chance. They’re both very intelligent drivers. There is no doubting their speed, but they also have a masterful approach to strategy that delivers results time after time.
“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be confident of adding to our success next year and – seeing the reaction of the team this afternoon – I know that everyone will continue to give 110 percent.
World champion Sebastien Ogier commented by saying:
It’s great to finally announce our plans for 2018. What we have achieved together has been truly amazing, and we want to see that continue – to continue this fantastic journey and to defend all that we have achieved together.
“This season has been very exciting with some of the closest-fought competition for years. As a driver, I definitely want to be a part of that. I still get a lot of emotion from this sport, and this team has so much passion. That made my decision clear, and we will work hard to chase more success together next year.
Elfyn Evans commented on his move up to the M-Sport works team by saying:
After a fantastic season for the whole team, it’s great that we’ll be a part of it again next year. After getting that first victory under our belts, we’re ready to take the next step and I think we all have another exciting season ahead of us.
“Honestly, I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel and Rallye Monte-Carlo can’t come soon enough. We’ll be working hard over the Christmas break to ensure we’re fully prepared, and the goal will be to build on the success of this year.
M-Sport will announce plans for their third Ford Fiesta at a later date.