Friday, 13 December 2013

Hirvonen, Evans and Kubica secure '14 M-Sport seats

M-Sport have announced that their 2014 WRC lineup will consist of Mikko Hirvonen and Elfyn Evans.

Hirvonen, who returns to the team that took him to within a point of the 2009 title, described the move as 'coming home' and was optimistic about next season.

"Joining M-Sport will give us a good chance to try again - a fresh start in a car we know we can be competitive in." he said. "We are motivated to win, and we are in the best possible place to do that."

He will be joined by 2012 WRC academy champion Elfyn Evans. Evans, who drove an M-Sport WRC car in Italy this season - finishing sixth on his top level debut, has competed in an M-Sport backed Ford Fiesta in WRC2 this year.

The Welshman wont be the only WRC2 graduate in M-Sport's WRC team next season however. Former Formula One star Robert Kubica will also drive for M-Sport next season.

Whilst Hirvonen and Evans will drive as the official M-Sport World Rally Team, Kubica will run under the Lotos World rally team banner, continuing his affiliation with the Polish oil firm. Meanwhile the m-Sport WRT is yet to confirm a title sponsor.

Kubica's move into the top echelon of World Rallying comes after an impressive debut season in the WRC2 category where he took five wins on his way to the title, despite missing three events. He moved up to the top WRC category with Citroen for the final round in Wales but he retired from the event after rolling his Citroen DS3 WRC twice.

The news seemingly leaves evgeny novikov without a top drive for 2014 after competing this season for M-Sport. The Russian's best finish this season was two consecutive fourth places on Rally de Portugal and Rally Argentina.

This announcement comes after Hyundai and Citroen confirmed their 2014 driver lineups earlier this week. With Volkswagen keeping their current drivers for next season, all of the top seats in the WRC are now taken for next season.

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