Kris Meeke will face his old adversary Guy Wilks when he begins the defence of his Intercontinental Challenge crown on the Monte Carlo Rally later this month.
Two-time British champion Wilks, who first locked horns with Ulsterman Meeke in their Junior World championship days, has been entered to drive a Skoda UK-backed Fabia Super 2000 on the classic event which begins on January 19.
A formal announcement is expected from Skoda UK shortly confirming that Monte Carlo will be the first of seven IRC rounds Wilks will contest.
The Yorkshire driver joined Skoda for the final round of the 2009 series, the Rally of Scotland, where he was beaten by Meeke. However, post-event scrutineering revealed an under-weight sub-frame in Meeke’s Peugeot 207 and he was subsequently disqualified, handing a first IRC victory to Wilks.
Now he is believed to have secured a deal with Skoda UK to challenge Meeke for the title.
Skoda already have last year’s runner-up Jan Kopecky and Rally Russia winner Juha Hanninen in their team and Meeke’s former Peugeot team-mate Nicolas Vouilloz, the 2008 IRC champion, will join them for Monte Carlo at least.
However, Peugeot will also have strength in depth for the opening round with Meeke being joined by last year’s Monte Carlo winner and Citroen junior WRC team member Sebastien Ogier as well as former Subaru driver Stephane Sarrazin.
Meanwhile, Ford are scheduled to introduce their new S2000 Fiesta on the event with World championship runner-up Mikko Hirvonen taking the wheel for his IRC debut.