Twelve competitors have been selected to compete in the inaugural and oversubscribed five-event 2014 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy, it was confirmed this week.
The high calibre of talent is outlined with competitors like Yeray Lemes, Jose Suarez and Sander Parn, who finished second, third and fourth in last year's FIA Junior World Rally Championship, set to take in the new series, pitched as the 'most affordable way for aspiring drivers to showcase their talent on the world stage'.
They are joined by French ace Quentin Gilbert, the UK's Tom Cave, who stunned with fastest WRC2 times on Wales Rally GB, and Finn Max Vatanen – son of the legendary 1981 World Rally Champion Ari Vatanen [full list of competitors below].
The Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy will use M-Sport's Ford Fiesta R2 rally car – the same car as previously used in the FIA WRC Academy in 2011 and 2012 and in the Junior WRC Championship in 2013 – with the overall winner getting a prize drive of a full seven-round WRC2 campaign in 2015 using's M-Sport's Ford Fiesta R5 in the 'Drive DMACK World Rally Team'.
In total organisers received 24 registrations: “It is fantastic to see such a talented line-up for the first Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy and I am delighted that we can reveal the final 12,” said M-Sport boss, Malcolm Wilson. “Of course it is a real shame that we cannot accommodate all 24 applicants. The level of interest was extremely high and far surpassed all of our expectations. That said, I am confident that we have devised the best possible championship and that a very exciting competition lays ahead.”
Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, added: “The Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy is set to be an exciting series and the huge prize on offer is sure to bring some close competition over the season. The list of drivers we've got is impressive and shows the true global attraction that the initiative has had. It's encouraging that DMACK can help so many talented drivers get proper WRC experience.”
The full list of confirmed drivers for the 2014 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy are:
Nicolas Amiouni, 24, Lebanon
Tom Cave, 22, UK
Ghislain De Mevius, 25, Belgium
Quentin Gilbert, 24, France
Szymon Kornicki, 31, Poland
Yeray Lemes, 26, Canary Islands
Sander Parn, 21, Estonia
Allan Popov, 27, Russia
Nils Solans, 21, Spain
Jose Suarez, 23, Spain
Leo Urlrich, 28, Canada
(and) Max Vatanen, 23, Finland
The Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy will kick off in Portugal in April. Two more gravel rounds will then be tackled in Poland and Finland before the series concludes with two asphalt events in Germany and France.