Tänak returns to M-Sport next year

The 2019 world champion has concluded an agreement to drive a Ford Puma Rally1


Ott Tänak’s return to the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team is complete – he will be announced as the team’s new lead driver this week.

The 2019 World Rally champion departed Hyundai Motorsport with a year left on his contract and has spent the weeks since Rally Japan as a free agent while he concluded contract negotiations with M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson and team principal Richard Millener.

Tänak tested the Ford Puma Rally1 he will drive next year for the first time in northern England late last week.

DirtFish understands the agreement is a multi-year contract for Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja.

A source close to the negotiations told DirtFish: “It’s fair to say the talking has taken a while longer than the first time Ott joined M-Sport, but this deal is one which will work for both parties.

“The excitement around M-Sport is huge; Tänak has always been viewed very much as one of their own and this deal’s very much rallying’s return of the prodigal son.”

Tänak takes over the lead Puma vacated by Craig Breen, who has made the reverse trip back to Hyundai’s i20 N Rally1.

The remainder of M-Sport’s driver lineup is being worked on now and is expected to be concluded in time for entries closing for the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally on Friday December 16.

Words:David Evans