WRC Academy driver Yeray Lemes will make his debut with the Volkswagen Motorsport team on his home round of the championship next month, as VW continues to assess rising stars with an eye on its future World Rally Championship program.
Lemes, who won the Junior WRC element of the 2010 Catalunya Rally, will drive one of VW's two Skoda Fabia S2000s on the German firm's third WRC outing of the season.
German driver Christian Riedemann remains in the other Fabia, having competed on Rallye Deutschland last month. VW motorsport director Kris Nissen is keen to see how Riedemann fares on gravel, with the opening leg of the Salou-based rally running on dirt.
"In Spain, we will again be running with two young driver pairings: Christian Riedemann and Michael Wenzel did a good job at their home round and now have the chance to show their potential on gravel," said Nissen. "Yeray Lemes and his co-driver Rogelio Penate, on the other hand, are hopefuls and highly motivated to compete in front of a home audience.
"For our team, the main focus is not so much on the sporting result but on finishing the entire rally in order to gather as much experience as possible."
Nissen added that VW's selected Super 2000-based WRC program was paying plenty of dividends beyond young driver assessment.
"Our trial runs in Finland and the German Rally have already provided us with important findings with respect to the fielding of the vehicles, the organization of the teams and the related logistics," he said. "Every WRC round has its own characteristics though – this makes it particularly important to gather specific experiences."