The factory Skoda Motorsport team will enter works drivers Juho Hanninen and Jan Kopecky on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge events in Brazil and Argentina in March.

Skoda is planning an expanded programme of IRC appearances this season and its commitment to the South American gravel rallies will help to ensure a strong turnout of European-based crews.

Company spokesperson Karel Pokorny said: "We will run two cars in Brazil and Argentina. Skoda has some experience in Argentina from the World Rally Championship but we have never been to Brazil so that will be something new.

"We saw last year the pace of the Fabia Super 2000 on gravel in the Azores and Russia and we hope this will continue when we go to Brazil and Argentina."

Satellite team Skoda UK Motorsport has also confirmed it will field a Fabia S2000 on the South American leg for British driver Guy Wilks.