M-Sport's decision to hand Welshman Elfyn Evans a full-time drive in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC next year has been welcomed by the organisers of the British round of the World Rally Championship.

News that Evans will get the chance to step up to the top level came on Friday, when the Cumbrian-based firm also confirmed Mikko Hirvonen and former F1 pilot Robert Kubica. It was another big boost for the sport in the UK after Citroen's decision to give Ulsterman Kris Meeke a full campaign as well - something that was also announced this week.

Andrew Coe, chief executive of Wales Rally GB organiser International Motor Sports is understandably ecstatic at the prospect of having two British drivers back at the sport's highest level - something Britain hasn't had since the glory days of Colin McRae and Richard Burns.

"This is just fantastic news for the sport in the UK and, in particular Wales," enthused Coe. "We were thrilled when Citroen signed Kris and now we are further excited that M-Sport has given Elfyn this equally fabulous opportunity.

"To have a Welsh driver competing at the forefront of the World Championship is a great reward for the Welsh Government, which has been a great supporter of our sport for more than a decade."

"The timing couldn't be much better either, coming so soon after the huge success of last month's revitalised Wales Rally GB," continued Coe.

"The move to a new base in north Wales saw the reintroduction of some classic forest stages and a huge leap in spectator numbers - the only ingredient missing was a British driver in contention for victory. Now, with Kris and Elfyn both in major teams, we have two potential British winners."