Skoda UK has decided to enter Guy Wilks in the next two rounds of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in Brazil and Argentina
The former British champion is contesting at least seven IRC rallies with Skoda this year in a bid to fight for the title. He finished sixth in the Monte Carlo season-opener this week.
"After the encouraging start to the IRC on Rallye Monte Carlo, I'm delighted to announce that we are going to contest both rallies in Brazil and Argentina," said Skoda UK motorsport boss Robert Hazelwood.
"It's an exciting development for the brand in the UK and we're looking forward to competing in the Southern Hemisphere."
Wilks believes including Brazil and Argentina in his schedule is important for his title hopes. While the former is new to him, he competed in Argentina when contesting the Junior WRC series.
"It's fantastic news that we are going to Brazil and Argentina, because contesting all three opening rallies improves our chances of success in the IRC," he said
"I've never been to Brazil, but I'm very excited about rallying somewhere new. We'll take it as we see it and it will also be perfect preparation for Argentina.
"Rally Argentina is a great event and I'm really looking forward to going back there. You always want to do well, and that's what we're planning to do in Brazil and Argentina."
Wilks's arch-rival Kris Meeke is expected to contest the full series for Peugeot UK this year. But as IRC competitors only count seven scores towards their total, it is not yet clear which other series regulars will make the trip to South America for the Rally of Curitiba and the Rally Argentina in March. Skoda's factory team chose not to travel to Brazil last year.
The fifth Intercontinental Rally Challenge was the best yet, and it was Skoda UK driver Andreas Mikkelsen who emerged as champion from a tense five-way shootout at the season finale. Matt Beer reviews the season