The FIA has confirmed the World Rally Championship Academy Cup will go ahead as planned this season, with M-Sport offering a full 2013 WRC season as a prize to the winner.
There had been concerns for the WRC's support series following the loss of promoter North One Sport earlier this month, but the governing body has confirmed a six-round Academy will begin on the Rally of Portugal in March.
Once again, M-Sport will supply arrive and drive Ford Fiesta R2s for the competitors and the 2012 winner will be offered the choice of five WRC rounds in a Fiesta S2000 or the complete series in a Fiesta R2 car.
FIA WRC manager Michele Mouton said: "The 2011 WRC Academy Cup was a great success and provided incredibly close competition through to the final stage. We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with M-Sport, ensuring once again that this arrive and drive formula continues at a set and affordable price for young competitors wishing to enter our sport. We have great confidence in Malcolm Wilson and his team to deliver yet another exciting series that is at the heart of nurturing future talent."
The Academy will be contested over the Portugal, Greece, Finland, Germany, France and Spain WRC rounds, with drivers counting their best five scores toward the Cup.
Irishman Craig Breen won the inaugural WRC Academy last season and is contesting this year's SWRC in a Fiesta S2000, helped by the 500,000 euro [$650,000] funding package he won from M-Sport.