M-Sport World Rally Team will field two Ford Fiesta R5 Evos at Rally Sweden as Elfyn Evans and Eyvind Brynildsen fly the flag in the FIA World Rally Championship's (WRC) principal support series.
Contesting the WRC 2 category, the M-Sport pairing will be joined by a whole host of Fiesta drivers – the Blue Oval boasting an impressive 56 percent of the support series entry.
Just as impressive is the fact that Evans and Brynildsen will be amongst no fewer than 14 new-evolution Fiesta R5s – proving the speed at which M-Sport has been able to process the upgrades that were launched at the start of the year.
The Fiesta RS Evo made its WRC debut in superb fashion during last month's Rallye Monte-Carlo and, with Evans and co-driver Craig Parry at the wheel, M-Sport was the team to beat.
Despite incurring two separate punctures which cost the Welshman some three minutes to the leading pack, he could not be deprived of victory – taking a convincing win two minutes clear of Esapekka Lappi.
But Evans biggest test is yet to come. Having only contested two snow rallies in his career, the Welshman will be going head to head with those who are considered specialists on the snow and ice of Rally Sweden.
Amongst Evans' main rivals are the Skoda Motorsport works drivers – Lappi and local hero Pontus Tidemand. The competition will be tough, but Evans will look to use all of his experience – not to mention the Fiesta's extensive upgrades – to challenge for the top positions.
Joining Evans in M-Sport's WRC 2 campaign is Brynildsen and his Swedish co-driver Anders Fredriksson. The Norwegian is a proven contender behind the wheel and was crowned last year's Norwegian Rally Champion.
Learning his trade in Scandinavia, he has a talent for winter rallying and is no stranger to the Swedish event having made his WRC debut there in 2006.
Strengthening M-Sport's continued partnership with Adapta Motorsport, Brynildsen will drive Adapta's newly-acquired Fiesta R5 Evo – prepared and maintained by M-Sport's team of technicians and engineers.
With his ambition high, Brynildsen will be hoping to delight the Scandinavia crowd with a top result on home soil.
Elfyn Evans said:
"I'm feeling really good ahead of this event and I'm looking forward to getting back behind the wheel. Sweden is always a tricky one as I've only ever done two snow rallies, but I do enjoy it and I think we showed some pretty good speed there last year.
"The difficulty is getting up to speed from the word go, but I think the experience gained over the last two years will allow me to do that. We'll also have a test on Monday to get used to the feeling of the Fiesta R5 Evo on snow so I see no reason why we can't be competitive.
"My goals are the same as the ones I had in Monte-Carlo. We go to Sweden hunting the win. I'm sure that a lot of other crews are just as hungry for victory and I know that it won't be easy given their experience on this surface, but I'm confident that we can take the fight to them."