Ex-F1 driver Robert Kubica contest WRC season opener in Monte Carlo

Robert Kubica has entered next month's World Rally Championship season opener in Monte Carlo in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC

Ex-F1 driver Robert Kubica contest WRC season opener in Monte Carlo

The Pole will drive one of six M-Sport-built Fiestas in the Monte Carlo Rally, having previously flagged a possible return to circuit racing in 2016.

Kubica has starred in the French Alps in the last two years, leading on his WRC debut in a Fiesta in 2014, and setting fastest times before crashing out 12 months later.

"This would be the worst time to stop," he told Autosport last month.

"The last five or six events I feel more like a rally driver, more mature.

"Many of the things which were scaring me in the past are feeling more normal now because I went through them more than once, so you are more comfortable and able to drive better and quicker.

"I feel more rally driver than ever."

As expected, Volkswagen and Hyundai have both lodged three entries, the latter including a 2015-specification i20 WRC for Haydon Paddon's Monte debut.

The Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team will also field a pair of DS 3 WRCs for Kris Meeke and Stephane Lefebvre.

Dropped from M-Sport's WRC line-up, Elfyn Evans will start his 2016 as one of 15 WRC2 runners.

The Welsh driver will give M-Sport's upgraded Fiesta R5 its competition debut, and could still appear in the team's Fiesta RS WRC at some stage during the season.

"Elfyn's exact programme hasn't been decided for this season yet," M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson said.

"But I told you we wanted to keep him involved, which is why he's in Monte with us."

There will also be 10 WRC3 crews and eight Clio R3 Trophy cars in Monte, while the winner of the rally in 1994, Francois Delecour returns in his Porsche 911 GT3.

NO POLICING PROBLEMS

The organiser of the WRC opener, the Automobile Club de Monaco has scotched speculation the event could run into security problems in light of France's state of emergency.

Declared following the November 13 attacks in Paris, the French parliament voted to maintain the nationwide status for three months.

The Monte Carlo Rally organisation requires the deployment of hundreds of police in the stages.

A spokesman from the event said the ACM was continuing to work with the police, but there were no organisational difficulties presented by the current security situation in France.

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