WRC: Evans returns for Monte Carlo

2017-01-03 16:40:30

Elfyn Evans will return to the World Rally Championship's top class for the first time in a year at the Rallye Monte-Carlo. The Welshman will drive a third M-Sport Ford Fiesta in the season-opening event, which starts on Jan. 19.

Evans was part of M-Sport's manufacturer squad in 2014 and 2015, but was dropped to the WRC 2 category last year and claimed three class wins in a Fiesta R5. This year, Evans's car will use DMACK tires, while his teammates Sebastien Ogier and Ott Tanak will use Michelins.

Defending champion Ogier tops the Monte entries in his number one Fiesta, with Tanak and new co-driver Martin Jarveoja carrying number two and Evans three.

Hyundai's trio of Hayden Paddon, Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo are seeded fourth, fifth and sixth respectively in their i20 Coupe WRCs.

Citroen Total Abu Dhabi drivers Kris Meeke and Stephane Lefebvre have numbers seven and eight on their new C3 WRCs. After an appearance at November's Rally du Var, co-driver Gabin Moreau will be back alongside Lefebvre for the first time in the WRC since he was injured five months ago at ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

Craig Breen will drive a 2016-spec DS 3 WRC on the Monte but is expected to take the team's second manufacturer-registered C3 in Sweden.

The Yaris WRCs of Toyota Gazoo Racing drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Juho Hanninen are seeded 10th and 11th.

Jordan Serderidis is the sole entrant in the new WRC Trophy for pre-2017 World Rally Cars. The Greek will drive a Citroen DS 3 WRC, having stepped-up from the R5-spec car he campaigned in 2016.

There are 12 entries in WRC 2, headed by former VW team member Andreas Mikkelsen who will make a one-off appearance in a Skoda Fabia R5.

Frenchman Eric Camilli is another 2016 manufacturer driver to find himself in WRC 2. After one season in the M-Sport World Rally Team's main squad, he returns to the category he contested in 2015.

Six drivers are registered in WRC 3 and four in the FIA's RGT-class, including a trio of Abarth 124 cars for François Delecour, Fabio Andolfi and Gabriele Noberasco.

Other notable entries include Kevin Abbring (Hyundai i20) Pontus Tidemand (Skoda Fabia) and last year's Junior WRC champion Simone Tempestini (Citroen DS 3). All will drive R5-spec cars in the RC2 category but are not registered to score points in WRC 2.

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