Nicolas Vouilloz will join Jan Kopecky and Juho Hanninen as a third factory Skoda driver for next month's IRC-opening Monte Carlo Rally.
Vouilloz, who won the 2008 IRC title with Peugeot, has lost his deal to run a 207 WRC next season. Sources have indicated, however, that a strong showing on the opening round could land the Frenchman a seat in a Fabia S2000 for more outings later in the season.
"The Monte Carlo Rally is an extremely challenging event and we see it as one of the most important races of the upcoming season," said Skoda Motorsport boss Michal Hrabanek. "The 2009 Monte Carlo event successfully started off our new project Fabia Super2000 and then the whole 2009 season was a success for our crews and a great motivation for the entire team to work hard also in the future."
Both Hanninen and Kopecky turned in a strong performance on last year's event, with the Finn leading before he crashed out. Hrabanek is confident that running Vouilloz will further improve the Czech firm's chances of celebrating a win in Monaco.
"I am sure that his [Vouilloz] participation will substantially increase Skoda Motorsport's chance to succeed and also believe that it will support our marketing efforts in France, because France is one of our target markets as far as Fabia Super 2000 is concerned and one of Skoda's key markets in general."