Ott Tanak is to compete with the new DMACK World Rally Team in 2016, the tyre manufacturer has announced.
The DMACK squad will field a Ford Fiesta RS WRC car for Tanak on all 14 events, with it run in “close partnership” with M-Sport.
Tanak and co-driver Raigo Molder are no strangers to DMACK having competed for the firm's WRC 2 team during 2014, helping them seal the WRC 2 Teams World Championship title. In 2011, Tanak also made his world rally car debut with DMACK, finishing sixth overall on Wales Rally GB.
“I'm very excited to be joining DMACK again and extremely motivated to carry on the hard work and get closer to the top,” said Tanak, who competed this year with M-Sport, after getting a second chance with the Cumbrian outfit. “We have many good memories from 2014, the team is very hard-working and I know things have moved forward even more since then.”
“We had a tough season [this year],” added Tanak, “but the speed was there and, now that we have much more WRC experience, we will only get better in the future.
“This is a perfect programme for me, a chance to help DMACK progress and an opportunity for me to demonstrate both my and DMACK's pace.
"I can't wait to start the season in Monaco.”
After a two-day asphalt development session in Spain last month, DMACK and Tanak will now take part in a cold-weather test at the start of December in preparation for the season-opening Rallye Monte Carlo in January.
Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, added: “We've been working on this programme for around six months as part of our three-year development plan. I genuinely believe the combination of M-Sport and Ott is the best platform to help us develop our WRC products and push for leading stage-times when the opportunity arises.
“DMACK has a clear strategy to challenge for the WRC title in the future and the only way to achieve this is to focus hard on product development and undertake a full WRC programme with the correct partners to prove our performance.
"Today is yet another step towards achieving our goal of competing at the pinnacle of world rallying alongside Michelin and Pirelli, so I'm looking forward to a great season in 2016.”
The decision ensures that DMACK will be represented across all levels of the WRC next year, with 2015 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy winner Marius Aasen set to take up his prize drive in WRC 2 at the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R5, where he will be joined by Estonian Sander Parn in a two-car Drive DMACK team. The Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy also continues in 2016.