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No rest as WRC teams continue 2019 preparations

Richard Millener
M-Sport's Rich Millener.

Top level changes have been announced at M-Sport. Rich Millener takes over from Malcolm Wilson as the Team Principal, allowing Wilson to concentrate on the commercial aspects of M-Sport.

M-Sport have also announced their continued participation in the WRC, with Elfyn Evans to join Teemu Suninen in a two-car team.

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Pontus Tidemand has been offered a two-round entry in the 2019 WRC championship, sponsored by Swedish interests, at Monte Carlo and Sweden.

The car will be a Fiesta WRC prepared by M-Sport. He will be the team’s third driver, working with Teemu Suninen and Elfyn Evans.

For the last four seasons he has been a Skoda driver.

 

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All four WRC teams have re-registered for the FIA World Rally Championship in 2019, but only Citroen and M-Sport have been registered for the new WRC2 Pro (R5) championship for points scoring eligibility to compete at the opening round, Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo.

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The maximum permitted number of entries for the Monte Carlo Rally (80) have been received.

Although the official list of accepted entries will not be published until January 14th, the organisers say that of the four WRC official teams, all have entered three car teams, except for two entries at Citroen.

There are only two WRC2 Pro entries, for Citroen (Bonato) and M-Sport (Greensmith), although WRC2 entries have been made for Skoda driver Kalle Rovanpera.

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New co-driver pairings at Monte Carlo include Kris Meeke with Sebastian Marshall, Elfyn Evans with Scott Martin, Teemu Suninen with Marko Salminen, and Pontus Tidemand with Emil Axelsson.

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Notwithstanding having already entered the Dakar event, Sebastien Loeb will nevertheless compete at Monte Carlo in his new team, Hyundai.

Unfortunately he will only be able to carry out two days of testing in the i20 Coupe WRC, during the week after Dakar.

He has not tested a Hyundai till now. His teammates at Monte Carlo will be Neuville and Mikkelsen.

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There is no reported news of 2019 rally plans for Citroen’s former WRC drivers Craig Breen and Mads Ostberg.

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Martin Holmes is widely considered as world rallying's most experienced, and most respected journalist. Martin covers the WRC, ERC and all major rally championships around the world.

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