New Ford M-Sport World Rally Team signing Pontus Tidemand admits he and new co-driver Ola Fløene are “as prepared as we can be” ahead of their WRC appearance on Rallye Monte Carlo.
Tidemand has joined the British team for the opening round of the World Rally Championship in the third Ford Fiesta WRC alongside Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen and the Swede wants to show what he can do in a top level WRC machine.
He said: “This is a really exciting time for me and I’m looking forward to making my debut in a new-generation world rally car. Last week we had a pre-event test with a lot of snow and ice and the feeling was really good. But in Monte you never know what the weather is going to do and we’ll still need some time to learn the team and the car.”
“The conditions make this one of the most challenging events on the calendar. On dry Tarmac the grip is quite high, but when there’s ice and snow the grip is zero and it looks as though we could experience a proper Monte with all kinds of conditions next week.”
Speaking about his new co-driver, he added: “Ola has a lot of experience so it’s great to have him alongside me, and I know the team will give us a lot of guidance and advice throughout the weekend. We spent some days in the workshop this week – getting to know the team and the car – and I think we’re as prepared as we can be. The goal is to get to the finish with as much knowledge and experience as possible.”
Tidemand steps up the WRC after several seasons in WRC2 including in 2017 where he won the title for Skoda Motorsport in a Fabia R5. Last season saw Tidemand finish runner up behind Jan Kopecký before moving to the M-Sport team over the winter.
The 2019 FIA World Rally Championship begins with Rallye Monte Carlo this weekend.