After more than six months, the wait is finally over for Pontus Tidemand as he is ready to dive back into the WRC circus. Next month, the rough Rally Turkey awaits him and just like at the first rallies this year, he will be behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta WRC for M-Sport.
“I’m so excited to be back in the game” said Pontus. “I’ve been looking forward to this since I stepped out of the car on the last day of Rally Sweden in February. It’s been a lot of hard work since then but it has paid off and now we’re ready to take new steps forward.”
The 28-year-old Swede and his Norwegian co-driver Ola Fløene started their year by stepping up to the highest level in the WRC and participate at Rallye Monte-Carlo and their home event Rally Sweden. They solidly completed both rallies despite a new car, a new team and a few technical issues, but that they needed more experience in the car to be able to reach a better overall result – that was a fact.
In his tough job towards the next start, Pontus got valuable help from RaceNetWork, a brand new concept that aims to create opportunities for Swedish drivers through a close co-operation with investing companies. During the past week, Pontus’ next WRC start could be secured and now his main focus is to prepare every little detail in order to be one hundred percent ready when the rally in Turkey kicks off on the second weekend of September.
“I’ve got M-Sport, my local partners, RaceNetWork and all the people around me that helps me to thank for this” said Pontus. “This is a new chance and I will treasure it. Unlike in January, we’re not completely on square one anymore, but this will be my first time on gravel with this car and I’m hoping for a good progression during the rally. This is by far the coolest car I have ever driven and I loved it from the moment I sat down behind the wheel. I know from last year that Rally Turkey is a really tough rally but I will make sure that I’m as prepared as I can be. I’m more than ready for a new challenge, this is what I’ve been waiting for during the past six months!”
M-Sport welcomes Pontus back to the team and there are no doubts that they believe in their Swedish driver and are eager to see what he can do at the upcoming event.
“It’s great to see Pontus back in the team and back behind the wheel of the Ford Fiesta WRC. This is something a lot of people wanted to see – myself included – and I’m looking forward to seeing how he performs in Turkey” said Team Principal Richard Millener and continued:
“He didn’t have the best of luck earlier this year – road position and some technical issues working against him – but when you take all of that into account it was a really solid debut and we’re keen to see what he can do on gravel. Pontus is an all-rounder who’s competitive on all surfaces. He’s got the talent and we want to see him take the next step up in his career. He’ll complete a rough-gravel test with the team in preparation for Turkey, and we know he’ll make the most of the opportunity.”
The Turkish WRC round takes place on 12-15 September and it’s the 11th event out of 14 in this year’s championship.