Giandomenico Basso has revealed he would have been forced to cancel his Rallye Monte Carlo entry had it not been for a show of support from a group of friends and backers led by Lorenzo Bresolin and gentleman driver Massimo Gasparotto.

Basso, a four-time winner in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, will drive a Peugeot 207 for the Italian Friulmotor operation alongside regular navigator Mitia Dotta after he was able to secure a late deal to contest the Valence-based event.

"We tried to take part with the Abarth Grande Punto but things did not go so smoothly," Basso explained. "Jumping in the seat of another car is really demanding and tricky, after driving the Abarth Grande Punto for five consecutive years.

"But there has been a lot of sacrifice and commitment to give us the best support and I'm sure Friulmotor will make available a strong and performing car.

"We can't prepare our participation as we would have liked but it's a challenge and we can't give up."