French youngster Pierre Louis-Loubet will step up to the WRC’s headline category for the first time this season to tackle several rounds in a World Rally Car.
The 22-year-old Corsican won the WRC 2 support category last season in a Skoda Fabia but which car he will drive in 2020 remains unconfirmed. He is not entered for this month’s season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo (23 - 26 January).
Details of his programme are expected in the next few weeks, although speculation has linked him to both M-Sport Ford and Hyundai Motorsport. He drove a Fiesta R5 in 2017 and a Hyundai i20 R5 in 2018 before switching to a Fabia last year.
Loubet is one of three drivers confirmed for support from French motorsport’s governing body, the Fédération Française du Sport Automobile (FFSA). It will also back M-Sport Ford’s Adrien Fourmaux in WRC 2 and Yohan Rossel in WRC 3.
“This is a very important and positive new step for me. It’s really satisfying and I’m very proud to wear the l’Équipe de France colours again,” said Loubet, an FFSA driver from 2016 to 2018.
“There will be a lot of work this season and I hope that the support of the FFSA will help me to progress throughout the year.”
Fourmaux will start six rounds – Monte-Carlo, Sweden, Portugal, Italy, Finland and Germany – in a Ford Fiesta R5.
Twenty-four-year-old Rossel, who won the French asphalt title last season, will drive a C3 R5 with additional support from Citroën Racing. His season starts in Monte-Carlo and also includes rounds in Portugal, Italy, Finland, Germany and Britain.
The FFSA is a long-term supporter of the WRC and backed Sébastiens Loeb and Ogier in the early days of their careers.