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There has been excitement around the news that 23-year old Teemu Suninen will contest eight rounds of the 2018 World Rally Chamionship in an M-Sport team World Rally Car, as well as Monte Carlo and Germany in an R5 car. This means that he is not due to compete in Corsica, Argentina or Australia. Already it is announced that Bryan Bouffier will compete in Monte Carlo and Corsica, leaving open any decision about a third World Rally Car entry in Argentina and Australia. Team Manager, Richard Millener, was at the M-Sport stand at the Autosport International Show and explained how the new season was being planned.
“Monte Carlo is a week later this year, which is a help as it follows after the WRC Presentation. Things are going well. We have three cars entered for Monte Carlo, which is important for us. “We’ve got two drivers in Seb (Ogier) and Elfyn (Evans), and Bryan (Bouffier) being eligible for Manufacturers’ series points, which is good.
“Bryan has no experience in the car, but we know that he’s capable of doing well in Monte Carlo. He’s a safe driver, which is what you need for a third person to try and score Manufacturer points.
"Another good thing is that there has not been a huge amount of technical regulation change. We’re obviously working on development as much as the other teams are, but there is nothing specific that we’ve had to do to get ready for the start of this season. “There were some small changes related to the existing homologation, but no performance orientation change.” Sponsorship wise it is still very similar to last season, with increased signage for Red Bull, but no signage for DMack. “It’s good to retain your sponsors. We will hopefully have a bit more interaction with some of them over the course of the year, but in general we’re pretty much similar to where we were.” Teemu Suninen Ford Fiesta R5 What about the tactics for WRC2? “I think this year is really important for us to win that championship. Winning the events, winning the championship, does have a very strong correlation to the number of cars that are sold.
“As a lot of people know, the business part of it is a very important part of M-Sport. So we’ll be pushing hard for that team whose doing the first event with Eric (Camilli) in Monte Carlo, and we’ll have a number of drivers.
“We’ve got three or four other drivers doing good programmes with us this year, some of which will be released over the weekend.
“We’ll be putting a lot of resource into that to try and win, because we want to win that (WRC2).”

Read all the latest WRC news from the season launch HERE.

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