Pierre-Louis Loubet will drive an M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 on seven rounds of this year’s World Rally Championship, beginning with April’s Rally Croatia.
Loubet hasn’t been in WRC action since last September’s Acropolis Rally in Greece as he was hit by a traffic car when on foot in Paris, ruling him out of the back-end of last season.
It had been a tricky season for the 2019 WRC2 champion up until then with just one points finish from eight WRC starts in a 2C Compétition Hyundai.
Loubet has driven for M-Sport back in 2017 in WRC2 but returns to the fold this year in a fourth Puma Rally1 for a European-based program consisting of Croatia, Portugal, Italy, Estonia, Finland (or the to-be-confirmed event in August), Acropolis and Spain.
“To be part of the team this year is so amazing,” said Loubet. “The team showed its performance on Monte Carlo, the Puma looks like a beast, it’s really great!
“When you are a driver, you want to be in the best car, you want the best possible way to show your potential which is what I need for this season.
“It’s a crucial season for me and, I know with M-Sport, I will have everything I need to do well. It’s a bit of a dream come true, every driver wants to be in the best car in his career, it’s happening for me now in just my second full season of WRC.
“I am sure we will do great things together and I hope I will be able to show my real potential.”
Team principal Richard Millener added: “It is fantastic to welcome another friendly face back to the M-Sport team. I worked with Pierre when he was driving a Fiesta R5 in WRC2 and he was a great person to have around.
“He has gained lots of valuable experience in many different cars over the past couple of seasons and I am really looking forward to seeing him show off his improvement in the Puma Hybrid Rally1.
“It is also fantastic for the sport to see another young and upcoming talent competing consistently at the highest level in these exciting new cars.”
M-Sport ran a fourth Puma for Sébastien Loeb on the Monte Carlo Rally while Lorenzo Bertelli will pilot the car on this month’s Rally Sweden.