M-Sport has confirmed that Bryan Bouffier will join its line-up for the opening two rounds of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship season, driving a third EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta in Monte Carlo and Corsica.

Bouffier won the Rallye Monte Carlo in 2011 when it was part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, and finished second in the WRC event three years later for M-Sport.

The Frenchman will return to M-Sport for the first two rallies of the 2018 WRC season, kicking off his season in Monte Carlo later this month.

"My nights are a lot shorter now that I know I will be driving one of these amazing cars, and I have already done a lot of kilometres with the Ford Fiesta WRC in my dreams," Bouffier said.

“I honestly didn’t think I would get an opportunity to drive this car – not even on test – so I am very excited. It’s always a great pleasure to work with Malcolm [Wilson] and the M-Sport team, and their amazing success in 2017 makes me very proud to work with them again.

“Monte and Corsica are two very different events, but they are also two of my favourites. They’re the two ‘French’ rounds of the season and it is always a pleasure to drive on home soil – even more so with this new car!

“My plan is to be relaxed and to have fun. I would also love to score some manufacturer points for the team – that would just be the icing on the cake!”