Mikko Hirvonen will contest the Cambrian Rally on October 17 as part of his pre-Rally GB preparation. The World Rally Championship leader will drive the Ford Focus RS WRC test car on the Llandudno-based event as a course car – ahead of the competing field.
The Finn starts Rally GB, where he will go head-to-head with Citroen's Sebastien Loeb for the world title, in Cardiff five days later. Hirvonen leads Loeb by a single point ahead of the 12th and final WRC qualifier of the season.
"After three days competing on the asphalt roads of Catalunya last weekend, it's important for me to regain a good feel on gravel ahead of Rally of Great Britain," said 29-year-old Hirvonen. "Driving on the Cambrian Rally in a competitive environment will improve my familiarity with the nature of the Welsh forests. It will be the perfect way to ready myself for what should be a thrilling final round of the WRC."
Team director Malcolm Wilson added: "Although Mikko won't actually be entered on the rally, his role as safety car means he will drive at competitive speeds so it's a great and unexpected opportunity for fans to see the Ford team in action.
"The Cambrian Rally will be the ideal way for Mikko and [co-driver] Jarmo [Lehtinen] to focus on the week ahead, which will be the most important few days of their rally career. They will take a one-point lead to Rally of Great Britain so we expect the most exciting title fight in recent years."
Rumors of Loeb's inclusion in the North Wales event are wide of the mark and Citroen will not be sending a C4 for the Frenchman.