M-Sport confirms Sebastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans for 2018 WRC season
M-Sport World Rally Team confirmed its line-up for the 2018 World Rally Championship season, retaining five-time world champion Sebastien Ogier and his navigator Julien Ingrassia. Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt were added to the team to drive the second Ford Fiesta WRC. The news about a crew (or crews) in a third Fiesta is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
The new contracts were signed during annual team’s celebration at Dovenby Hall after months of negotiations, in front of M-Sport’s 240 workers. M-Sport’s boss Malcolm Wilson was the most delighted, getting two crews which would lead the team in an exciting battle to defend a title.
“To have secured both Sebastien 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,” Malcolm Wilson said.
“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,” Sebastien Ogier said.
“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,” Elfyn Evans added.