M-Sport's all-new Ford Fiesta R5 could make its FIA European Rally Championship bow as early as Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse in mid-May, before it competes in competition for the first time on the GEKO Ypres Rally at the end of June.
Under plans currently being finalised by M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson, the Fiesta R5 will run as a non-competitive course car in Corsica. Providing dispensation is granted, the car will then compete in Belgium from 27-29 June, a few days prior to the intended homologation date of 1 July.
“We want to showcase the car,” said Wilson, “and show the world hopefully how good it is. We're confident it will be good.
“The ERC is going to be a big market and, personally, I think the ERC is just going to get stronger and stronger as a championship, especially if the WRC goes more global. They're trying very hard with the live streaming from the Acores. It makes a lot of sense.”
Meanwhile, Citroen Racing head Yves Matton has confirmed that the company's new DS3 R5 will be ready for use from January 2014.
“The idea is to have the car ready for the rallies at the start of next year. It will be an ideal car for the European championship,” he added.