Star new M-Sport signing Sebastien Ogier suffered a crash during final preparations for the World Rally Championship season opener in Monte Carlo from January 20-22.
Damage to the left rear wheel and suspension on the Ford Fiesta brought the multi-day test in the French Alps to a stop.
Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia had previously offered strong feedback to the M-Sport squad.
The incident comes as former M-Sport WRC driver Elfyn Evans returns to outright competition in 2017 for the DMACK World Rally Team.
Evans will occupy the seat Ott Tanak used last year before the talented Estonian’s elevation into the M-Sport team beside Ogier.
Evans arrives back in a frontline WRC machine after his successful British Rally Championship campaign last year alongside his 2016 WRC 2 commitments.
Paired with English co-driver Daniel Barritt, Evans is grateful to be back as WRC starts his new era of more powerful and robust machines.
“I’m really excited to be back driving a WRC car again at an exciting period for the sport with the new generation cars – and I’m thankful to DMACK for the opportunity,” Evans said.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with them over the last 12 months and being part of the development of new 2017 products.
“Being away from the top level for a season has been really hard, but it’s made me more motivated and determined to make the most of this opportunity.”