Éric Camilli and Teemu Suninen will spearhead’s M-Sport’s 2017 WRC2 campaign in a pair of Ford Fiesta R5s.
Both Fiestas will carry liveries that draw inspiration from the geometric ‘disguise’ livery which adorned the all-new Ford Fiesta WRC test car and forms the base designs for M-Sport’s lead drivers Sébastien Ogier and Ott Tänak.
Camilli will start M-Sport’s WRC2 campaign on the Monte Carlo Rally and will conduct a full season.
Last year’s WRC2 runner-up, Suninen will contest at least five events in the category starting in Sweden.
Camilli was in M-Sport’s WRC team senior team last season, but has been demoted to the WRC2 squad in order to make way for World Champion Ogier and Tanak who has been promoted from the DMACK squad.
Despite the drop down Camilli claims to be looking forward to the season ahead citing the level of competition in the category such as Skoda’s Andreas Mikkelsen.
“When you see the drivers who will compete in WRC 2 at Rallye Monte-Carlo, it is very impressive.
There is a real possibility for us to show our potential against experienced drivers like 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.”
M-Sport team principle Malcolm Wilson was keen to stress that Camilli’s step down into WRC2 was not a sign of rejection and stated that it would actually help the young driver’s career progression.
“Éric might be taking a step back this year, but it by no means undermines our faith in their potential.
“This year, Éric will be able to gain experience of as many events as possible without the pressures that come from competing at the highest level.
“Experience counts for a lot in this game and, if he can perform as we expect, it shouldn’t be too long before we see him back behind the wheel of a world rally car.”
Camilli echoed his bosses claims and was also hopeful of a speedy return to the top flight.
“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.”
The WRC2 season kicks off at the Monte Carlo Rally on Thursday 19th January.