Luca Cantamessa has been selected to pilot the BFGoodrich Drivers' Team entry on Rallye Sanremo, the penultimate round of the 2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge on September 24-26.
Cantamessa was one of 31 Italian drivers who applied for the chance to contest his home event in a Kronos Racing-run Peugeot 207 Super 2000.
He was included on a shortlist of five candidates produced by his country's motorsport federation. A jury, consisting of representatives of BFGoodrich, Kronos, the federation and the Italian press, then awarded him eight votes, which was enough to beat Elvis Chentre and Alessandro Bettega - who scored seven and five votes respectively - to the prize drive.
"It's a dream come true for me," said Cantamessa. "I am making my return to rallying after an eight-month absence and I couldn't be happier.
"I can't wait to work with Kronos Racing and get a chance to compete on BFGoodrich's competitive tyres."
Meanwhile Spanish asphalt ace Miguel Fuster will partner Giandomenico Basso in the works Abarth line-up on Rally Principe de Asturias from September 10-12, the next round in this year's IRC.
Fuster, who finished fifth overall on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge event last season at the wheel of a Fiat Auto Espana-run Grande Punto Super 2000, is a former Spanish champion.