With several titles behind – Swedish champion, Junior World Champion, Asia-Pacific Rally Champion and WRC 2 Champion – it is now time for 28-year-old Swedish rally ace Pontus Tidemand to aim even higher. At the season opener in Monte-Carlo and on home soil at Rally Sweden, he will be behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta WRC, running for M-Sport.
The past weeks have been filled with hard work for Pontus Tidemand, who is determined to take the next step in his career. After four successful years with SKODA Motorsport, he chose not to renew the contract. Earlier this week he also left his management since seven years. Together they have taken as much as three international titles: Junior World Champion, Asia-Pacific Rally Champion and WRC 2 Champion.
“I want nothing but to reach my dream to one day become world champion and that means I have to step away from the safe path and do everything in my power to move forward” said Pontus.
And the opportunity came with British team M-Sport, where the team principal Malcolm Wilson now gives Pontus the chance to start the 2019 season in their Ford Fiesta WRC at Rallye Monte-Carlo and at his home event Rally Sweden.
“We have found a great solution and I’m so grateful that Malcolm offers me this opportunity. In Monte-Carlo, focus will be on the experience, to get a feel for the car and get to know the team before Rally Sweden, where I really want to be as well prepared as possible and be able to fight for real” said Pontus.
Pontus is in no way unfamiliar with Ford or M-Sport. Already in 2011 he became the youngest ever winner of the Swedish Rally Championship with a Ford Fiesta S2000 and in 2013 he made a grand WRC debut in a Ford Fiesta WRC and also won the Junior World Championship in a Fiesta R2. The year after, he participated at selected events with both the WRC Fiesta and the R5 model for M-Sport and among other accomplishments, he took the WRC 2 victory at Rallye Deutschland.
“My previous experiences from the team and the car are great and it feels like a positive thing to have good results behind even though much has happened with the cars since then” said Pontus. “M-Sport are professional all the way and I know they will hand me all the tools I need to be able to perform my best.”
“I’m glad to be back behind the wheel of a WRC car and most of all that this is made possible with the support from Malcolm and my local partners. That has been a big goal for me and what we have worked for since the last rally of the season. Now I feel more than ready to tackle new challenges” said Pontus with a smile that makes a silent promise that he will give his all during the upcoming year.
Rallye Monte-Carlo takes place on 24-27 January with Rally Sweden nearly a month later, on 14-17 February.