Éric Camilli and Benjamin Veillas will be joined by Teemu Suninen and Mikko Markkula this year as both crews take to the wheel of the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5 for campaigns in the FIA World Rally Championship’s principal support series – WRC 2.
With 159 victories across 29 different countries, the Fiesta R5 secured more individual wins than any other R5 in 2016. Pairing the Fiesta’s strengths with two exceptionally talented crews, the team are putting their best foot forward to challenge throughout all levels of what looks set to be an exciting new era of world rallying.
Camilli and Veillas will contest a full WRC 2 campaign. They have an opportunity for further outings as the season progresses.
Éric Camilli said:
“The important thing for me this year is to continue to gain as much experience of as many FIA World Rally Championship events as possible. In rallying, experience is everything and it will be really important for me to continue this progression.
“When you see the drivers who will compete in the WRC 2 category at Rallye Monte-Carlo, it is very impressive. There is a real possibility for us to show our potential against experienced drivers like Andreas Mikkelsen and Bryan Bouffier – who have both been on the podium at this special event. It will be interesting to go head-to-head with them.
“The objective for the season will be to continue our development and to gain the experience and consistency that could see us back at the top-level as soon as possible. We have a great team around us, who have put their faith in us, and I hope that there will be a lot for us all to celebrate this year.”
Suninen and Markkula will start their 2017 campaign at next month’s Rally Sweden. The Finn will contest at least five events in the WRC 2 category. There could be further outings for him.
Teemu Suninen said:
“I’m very grateful for this opportunity and very happy to join the M-Sport team. They’ve offered me an excellent programme for the year ahead and there are some very exciting times to come.
“M-Sport provides one of the best environments for young drivers to learn and gain experience on their way to the top level. I’m really looking forward to working with this passionate team and to seeing for myself how the four-time World Champion, Sébastien Ogier, works.
“My goal for this season is to improve on last year when I finished second in the WRC 2 championship. I know that it will be a big challenge, but with more experience under my belt I feel ready and in a good position.
“M-Sport has a great history in rallying and many Finnish drivers have succeeded in Malcolm’s team. I hope, and believe, that I have a good chance of forming a part of this successful story.”
“From as early as 2002, we have actively strived to create exciting opportunities for talented youngsters at all levels of the sport. This year, we will be fielding two cars in the WRC 2 category. I believe that we have two exceptionally strong candidates in both Éric and Teemu”, M-Sport’s Managing Director Malcolm Wilson said.
“Éric and Benjamin might be taking a step back this year, but it by no means undermines our faith in their potential.
“Teemu gained a lot of attention last year and there were a lot of people watching him in the WRC 2 championship. He’s a young guy with a lot of talent, and it’s great to have him behind the wheel of the Fiesta R5.”