M-Sport has signed experienced Czech Roman Kresta to replace Markko Martin and team up with Toni Gardemeister in Ford’s world rally championship campaign next year.

M-Sport has signed experienced Czech Roman Kresta to replace Markko Martin and team up with Toni Gardemeister in Ford’s world rally championship campaign next year.


Jan Tomanek, a fellow Czech, will be Kresta’s co-driver. The pair made their WRC debut in a non-works Focus in 2001 at the Acropolis Rally. Kresta, a two-time Czech International Rally champion, has been in rallying for ten years.


"Roman was selected from a shortlist of seven drivers who we felt could come up with the requirements that we needed for 2005," said M-Sport team director Malcolm Wilson. "Like his new team-mate, Toni Gardemeister, I feel that he has never had the ultimate world rally car in which to show his true potential."


"Roman has set some excellent stage times against tough competition and he's a highly regarded test driver," said Wilson. "Going forward to next season and the possibility of having only one service during each leg, a driver with good mechanical knowledge is essential to the team."


Gardemeister and Kresta will soon test in Sweden, to familiarise themselves with the Focus RS 04 WRC, before conducting tyre evaluations.