Mikko Hirvonen has confirmed that he will be at the Rally Show at Chatsworth to drive his M-Sport Ford Focus WRC for the pleasure of British fans.
The Finn currently lies third in the FIA World Rally Championship after a cruel last-minute retirement in Argentina, but is just a single point behind Citroen rival Dani Sordo and will be hoping to regain second place - and start chasing down championship leader Sebastien Loeb - this coming weekend in Sardinia.
Hirvonen's visit to the third edition of the Rally Show at Chatsworth makes him the third 'Flying Finn' to visit the Show. It started with the original, Rauno Aaltonen, in 2007, followed by the visit of Marcus Gronholm last year, and now the 28-year old from Jyvaskyla - home to the jewel in the crown of Finnish rallying - gets his chance to win more British fans.
The scent of the Blue Oval will be strong this June at Chatsworth, as there will be a special event added to the programme, featuring competitors in the Kick Energy Fiesta Sporting Trophy. This will not form part of the seven-round British series, but will be a knockout competition, held on the Saturday of the event, between the current top six classified drivers.
With those six covered by less than 20 points after the first three rounds, competition should be extremely fierce as the Fiesta drivers get to grips with Chatsworth's asphalt roads. Only two of the Trophy rounds are on asphalt and both of those are yet to come. The prize which they will be driving for, apart from the applause of the crowds, will be a driving lesson from Mikko Hirvonen in the form of a guest co-drive over the Chatsworth stages.
With confirmation from Ford and M-Sport that Hirvonen will be at Chatsworth, the list of stars attending grows, with IRC points leader Kris Meeke, past World Rally champions Stig Blomqvist and Bjorn Waldegard, five-times British champion Jimmy McRae, double British champions Russell Brookes and Mark Higgins, ex-Ladies
European champion Louise Aitken-Walker, four-times Irish Tarmac champion Eugene Donnelly, ex-British champion - and boss of M-Sport - Malcolm Wilson, double British national rally champion Steve Perez, plus Tom Cave, Charlie Donnelly, Steve Smith, David Kynaston and Tony Mason.
The final places in the nine competitive events have now been filled, which means that the Rally Show at Chatsworth has over 120 competitors from the UK, Ireland, France and Germany, driving everything from Historics, through the Nations Cup and the GT/Sports Car event, to the All Comers.
There are 700 cars on show from one-make car clubs and over 55 exhibitors in the show's village. Other attractions include a display of rally cars to celebrate 30 years of the World Drivers Championship; the History of Rallying demonstrations on the stages, the UK's top autotest drivers showing how it is done, a chance for visitors to try their hand in a trials car or at laser clay pigeon shooting, and a display in the air from the RAF Hawk team.