M-Sport has announced plans to launch a one-make series for the Ford Fiesta R2 in this year's edition of the FIA European Rally Championship.
To be known as 'Ford Fiesta SportTrophy Europe', the series will take in four classic rounds of the ERC.
Commencing at the illustrious Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse in May, the championship will then venture to the stages of the GEKO Ypres Rally in Belgium and the Barum Czech Rally Zlin in the Czech Republic before Rally Poland brings the season to a close in September.
The winner will get to pilot an M-Sport supported Ford Fiesta S2000 at Rallye Sanremo in October.
“Following the success of our one-make series on the world stage, the next logical step for M-Sport was to bridge the gap between our globally successful Ford Fiesta SportTrophy programmes by implementing the concept on the European rally scene,” explained M-Sport managing director, Malcolm Wilson OBE. “The ERC [European Rally Championship] is a fantastic championship, and with a car like the [Ford] Fiesta R2 – which has proven itself as a highly competitive and reliable model – we hope to see some impressive young talents coming through the ranks.”
The programme will operate on an 'arrive and drive' format with all cars built and maintained by M-Sport from their base in Krakow, Poland.
The series will also be open to regional drivers on a one-off basis giving them the chance to compare their speed with ERC regulars, although they will not be eligible to score points.