Tidemand lands M-Sport WRC drive for Turkey
Pontus Tidemand will make his third top-level WRC start of the season in next month's Rally Turkey as he returns to the M-Sport Ford squad.
The 2017 WRC2 champion contested the opening two rounds of the 2019 season in a third M-Sport-run Ford Fiesta WRC, finishing eighth on home soil in Sweden.
Now he is set for a first gravel outing of the year in Turkey, an event he contested last year in a works Skoda Fabia R5.
"I'm so excited to be back in the FIA World Rally Championship, and back with the M-Sport team – I've been waiting for this since we completed Rally Sweden in February!" said Tidemand.
"I'm so happy that it's finally happening and want to thank M-Sport and my local partners for their continued support, and all the people who have helped me.
“The Ford Fiesta WRC is the ultimate car to drive and even though there were a lot of new things to learn in Monte-Carlo and Sweden, I loved the car from day one.
“I'm fully focused on preparing as thoroughly as possible because I know from last year that Turkey is a really tough rally – but I'm up for the challenge.
"I'm hoping to have good progression during the rally and that I'll be able to be more competitive now that I've got some experience under my belt."
M-Sport team boss Rich Millener added: “It’s great to see Pontus back in the team and back behind the wheel of the Ford Fiesta WRC.
"This is something a lot of people wanted to see – myself included – and I’m looking forward to seeing how he performs in Turkey.
“He didn’t have the best of luck earlier this year – road position and some technical issues working against him – but when you take all of that into account it was a really solid debut and we’re keen to see what he can do on gravel."
M-Sport's has only run a third car in three rallies so far this year, with Gus Greensmith joining team regulars Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen in Portugal, although Hayden Paddon was due to take part in Rally Finland until a heavy testing crash ruled him out of the event.
Greensmith was drafted into the squad's main line-up in place of the injured Evans in Finland earlier this month and will continue to deputise for him in Germany next weekend.
Paddon working on new WRC chance after Finland crash
Toyota adjusts rear wing after FIA rules clarification