The Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team will definitely compete in the 2009 FIA World Rally Championship, it has been announced.
While the Blue Oval's 'B' team was always thought likely to run again next season, as recently as the Wales Rally GB, at the start of this month, Ford boss Malcolm Wilson admitted that a few things still needed to be sorted before the programme could be confirmed.
A spokesperson for the M-Sport-run outfit has told Crash.net
though that everything has now been worked out.
"A Stobart team was registered on Monday," he stated, "as we felt it was important to demonstrate our commitment and confidence in the championship."
The confirmation is a boost for the WRC, which has endured a torrid week following the shock news of Subaru's decision to axe its World Rally programme, something that came just a day after Suzuki also quit the sport.
The Stobart team, which recently celebrated its 50th outing in the WRC, has yet to confirm its driver line-up for 2009.
A number of runners though will be in the frame to join Matthew Wilson, although the favourites will no doubt be Gigi Galli, Francois Duval and Henning Solberg - all of whom competed for the team in '08.