Nu är det klart att Sebastien Ogier och Ott Tänak kör Ford under 2017 års VM-säsong. En stolt Malcom Wilson presenterade sin line-up inför den kommande säsongen med de nya WRC-bilarna.
Silly Season i Rally-VM går nu på varvstopp. Den regerande fyrfaldige världsmästaren Sebastien Ogier skriver på för M-sport och kör teamets nya Ford Fiesta WRC under 2017, med sig har han sin världsmästar-kartis Julien Ingrassia.
Efter att kört världens bästa rallybil i fyra säsonger gav sig den franske världsmästaren ut på provkörningsturné direkt efter finalen i Australien och valet föll på Ford. Toyota nobbades för bland annat att bilen hade för dålig väghållning på asfalt (tillbaka till ritbordet för Mäkinens ingenjörer?). Den franske suveränen ville ha den konkurrenskraftigaste bilen han kunde få, och vinnarskallen valde Ford, ett riktigt bra betyg för Wilson med team M-sport att de gjort sitt jobb med nya Forden.
Lägg där till att den ursnabbe Ott Tänak också skriver på, en förare vars statistik på grussträckor i årets VM endast slogs av Ogier själv. Ott får med sig en ny co-driver, Martin Järveoja.
39 dagar återstår till VM-premiären i Monte Carlo.
Kommentarer på engelska
Sébastien Ogier said:
“There will be a lot of new things this season, but I am definitely looking forward to it. We have a new generation of world rally cars, and a new team – it’s certainly an exciting time.
“There’s not long before we line-up at the start of Rallye Monte-Carlo and we’ve not had a lot of seat time with the Ford Fiesta WRC, but we’ll give it our best to be ready. We’re aware of the challenges, and I can see how hungry Malcolm and his team are for success.
“It’s funny to think that just a few months ago I was sitting at a motorsport forum at Wales Rally GB saying how nice it would be to work with him one day. I had no idea at the time that it would come quite so soon, but here we are!
“I’m looking forward to working with M-Sport, and we’ll certainly be aiming to return them to the top-step of the podium!”
Ott Tänak said:
“I had a great season in 2016. We got a lot of experience under our belts and I think I became a much stronger driver. It was good to see the speed increase over the course of the year, and now I’m really looking forward to starting this new and exciting era.
“I’ve done a lot of testing with the new Ford Fiesta WRC, and it’s a massive step forward. This is the first time that I’ve had a hand in developing a new car completely from scratch and it’s been great to work with the engineers. I have a long history with M-Sport. They know how to build a competitive car and we’ve all worked together to produce something we hope will be quite special.
“The power is insane, and almost every aspect of the car has been completely redesigned. At first, I thought the increased power would make it a bit of a handful, but the guys have done such a good job. Every component works together to give incredible control – it really is the full package.
“It will be really interesting next year, and the whole team are very driven towards achieving the same goals. It’s great to have Seb and Julien in the team too. They have a lot of experience and I think we can all learn a lot from them. We had some great battles together this year, and I’m sure that will continue in 2017. There’s so much potential in this team. You can feel the excitement and we can’t wait to get started!”
M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“We go to Rallye Monte-Carlo with the number one on the door of the Ford Fiesta WRC and the strongest driver line-up we have had in years. To say we’re excited about next season is an understatement. We believe that we have produced an exceptional car, and we are in the best possible position ahead of this exciting new era.
“I’ve made no secret of how much we wanted to work with Sebastien and Julien, and it is fantastic to welcome them to the team. We have worked extremely hard to secure them, and they believe that the Ford Fiesta WRC is the car with which they can best defend their championship.
“With Ott and Martin lining up alongside them, we are in for one hell of a season. Ott has had a very impressive year with consistent speed. He’s played a major role in the development of the new car, and I’m sure that the elusive first victory isn’t too far away!