Works Ford World Rally Championship driver Mikko Hirvonen is to contest the Serbia Rally, a round of the European Championship's Regional Cup (East), in preparation for the WRC calendar's forthcoming asphalt swing.
Aware that Citroen could be tough to beat on the sealed-surface rallies, of which there are four in the second half of the 2010 WRC, Ford wants its lead driver to get reacclimatized to asphalt in Serbia prior to the Bulgaria Rally in July.
"This will be perfect preparation for the asphalt rallies during the second half of the WRC year," said Hirvonen. "This season has been entirely based on loose surface roads so far, and the last all-asphalt event in which I competed was in Spain last October.
"The Serbia Rally will provide the opportunity for me to shed the rust on this surface in competitive surroundings. It's purely a test session and developing a good feeling again with the Focus RS WRC on asphalt will be the priority."
Hirvonen also carried out an asphalt test in England shortly after the Rally New Zealand earlier this month.