Craig Breen and co-driver Paul Nagle have agreed a two-year contract to lead M-Sport Ford into the World Rally Championship in 2022.
It is the first time that the Irish driver has been handed a full WRC campaign following part-programmes with Hyundai and Citroën in recent seasons.
Breen - who will drive the new Ford Puma WRC Rally1 on all 13 rounds next year - has been in excellent form of late, claiming consecutive podium finishes in Estonia, Belgium and Finland to leave him sixth in the drivers’ standings.
BREAKING NEWS ⚠️ @Craig_Breen and co-driver @paulnagle1 will lead M-Sport Ford into the FIA World Rally Championship’s hybrid era in 2022. Learn more ⬇️#WRC I #MSPORTERS I @MSportLtd I @FordPerformance
— World Rally Championship (@OfficialWRC) October 6, 2021
"I have been working towards achieving a full-time seat in the World Rally Championship since I was a little boy, so this was an opportunity I just couldn’t turn down," Breen said.
"It has been a long road for us in the World Rally Championship with many twists and turns but we have now been given a golden ticket to drive for the most prestigious marque in motorsport and fight for the World Rally Championship.
"I love rallying, every nuance of the sport, but especially the history....to add my name to the list of drivers that have driven for Ford is a bit surreal, drivers like Ari Vatanen, Hannu Mikkola, Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz.
"To have my name etched in the history books besides these greats is a huge privilege."
It is still unclear who Breen’s team-mates will be next season but current drivers Adrien Fourmaux and Gus Greensmith are tipped to stay with the squad.
The 31-year-old helped Hyundai Motorsport lift back-to-back manufacturers’ titles in 2019 and 2019 with team principal Andrea Adamo stating that Breen and Nagle had been 'valuable team players' during three seasons with the Korean manufacturer.