Jourdan Serderidis will bring a Rally1 car to UK stages for the first time when he starts the Malcolm Wilson Rally in Cumbria next month.
The World Rally Championship switched to hybrid technology and Rally1 in 2022, but the cars have never competed in Britain given Rally GB hasn’t been staged since 2019.
But Serderidis will change that on March 11 when he takes his Ford Puma Rally1 to the forests of north-west England.
Serderidis told DirtFish: “It was Rich [Millener, M-Sport team principal]’s idea because the problem is that I could not attend the test for México.
“I am in fact on holiday at that time and so he proposed for me to do this event instead of the test which for me is even better because then you have the rhythm of a rally, it’s even better for me than a test.
“For me the most important is to have the rhythm and not so much testing and trying different setups because still I can have the support of Ott [Tänak] and Pierre-Louis [Loubet].
“Let’s say that my driving style is a little bit more like Pierre-Louis than Ott but still I can have the mix of the two setups for México and in addition have the rhythm of a gravel rally which will be very nice and very interesting for me in Cockermouth.”
Serderidis won’t however be co-driven by his regular co-driver Frédéric Miclotte, with M-Sport WRC2 driver Grégoire Munster instead joining him in the car.
“That will be also something special,” Serderidis said. “If I am too slow I will let Grégoire do the driving!
“We are travelling together to México after [the rally] because he will do recce only there and so the idea also is that he is coaching me on the driving skills during the Malcolm Wilson Rally.”
Serderidis has never competed in England before but has been “testing several times” in M-Sport’s testing area, Greystoke forest. Greystoke will be used as one of the stages on the Malcolm Wilson Rally, named after M-Sport’s managing director.
“Of course it will be fun and I am so happy to be there,” Serderidis added. “And indeed for the people if they see the car for the first time I need to push.
“I know that also Adrien Fourmaux will be there as well so that will be tough competition, and also there are lots of drivers who have driven there in previous years and know the rally and this kind of surface very well, so I know it will be difficult but I will be very motivated to do a good result.”
M-Sport team principal Richard Millener added: “When I floated the idea of the rally with Jourdan he was really keen to give it a try. I am really happy that together with the MW Rally, Motorsport UK and FIA that we will now give the Puma its debut in UK forests.
“It will be a great addition for any spectators out there and is a great display of the top level of WRC for those that might not be able to go and see these cars in the World Rally Championship. With Adrien, Jourdan and even myself competing it will be a great weekend and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Beyond Rally México, Serderidis’ WRC schedule is set to include Rally Italy, Safari Rally Kenya and Acropolis Rally Greece.