Greek driver Jourdan Serderidis has become the first driver in the world to buy a Rally1 car after he concluded a deal with M-Sport for a Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid.
The leading privateer and 2017 WRC Trophy winner will use the car for the first time at June’s Safari Rally Kenya in preparation for a shot at his home World Rally Championship round, the Acropolis Rally.
“I was one of the first buyers of an R5, a Fiesta by the way, in 2013, and I hope there will be several private buyers of this kind of car in the future,” Serderidis told DirtFish.
“I believe this initiative is also a promotion for the WRC and the rally in general. This sport is demanding but if you are passionate, it gives you a fantastic return in terms of adrenaline and feeling.
“I wanted to do two or three WRC events this year and for me, all previous experiences I had with M-Sport in the past since 2014 were great. So my choice was obvious.
“And I must say, I decided [to buy the car] long before Monte Carlo, so I was not influenced by its performance there.
“I will do Kenya and Acropolis. I take Kenya as a discovery but also a preparation for my home event in Greece where I really want to do better than last year. I think a top-15 [on the Acropolis] is achievable when you know the car.”
In addition to his WRC outings in his shiny new motor, Serderidis will hop across the border from his Luxembourg home to Belgium for the Rallye de Hannut and Rallye des Ardennes.
“The Belgian Championship is reserved for Rally2 cars, but I intend to do those two events [in a Rally2 car],” he said. “I can’t wait to be there!”
M-Sport team principal Richard Millener said the sale of the first Puma demonstrated the demand for what are the most talked-about rally cars in a generation.
“We’re really happy for Jourdan,” he said. “He’s a fantastic customer for us and we look forward to working with him with the car this year.
“The interest in Rally1 is strong from all around the world. Naturally, the start of a new homologation cycle renews interest, but I think people are understanding that these cars are available and competing in them is something achievable.”