Mitsubishi's chances of claiming a strong haul of manufacturers' points on the Rally de Curitiba have improved after rapid Argentine Marcos Ligato entered the Intercontinental Rally Challenge qualifier next month.

The Japanese marque lies fourth in the standings after the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally, but could move up to third in the table at the expense of the factory Skoda squad, which is missing the 5-7 March trip to South America.

Ligato, who was a regular in the Production Car World Rally Championship for ten seasons, won the Brazilian event, when it was named the Graciosa Rally, in 2000. He will compete again this year, albeit at the wheel of a Mitsubishi Lancer E10, the Japanese firm's latest generation rally car.

"Marcos has a good chance of challenging the IRC regulars," the event organisers confirmed, "He has the experience of competing all over the world and he is familiar with this rally."

The 31-year old will team up with regular navigator Ruben Garcia, who has partnered him for most of his professional career, including the 2001 Safari Rally, when they placed seventh overall. The Safari Rally is the next event on the IRC schedule after Rally de Curitiba....

Mitsubishi will also be represented by Brazilian championship runner-up, Oswald Scheer, who will be competing in a Mitsubishi Lancer E9 alongside co-driver Gilson Rocha.