Bryan Bouffier has confirmed that he will bid to defend his lead in the 2011 Intercontinental Rally Challenge drivers' standings by entering Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Ingles next month.

The 33-year-old from France holds a seven-point advantage at the top of the title table following his victory on the opening event of the 12-round IRC season, January's Rallye Monte Carlo. Bouffier will tackle the all-asphalt rally, which is based on the island of Gran Canaria from 14 16 April, in a factory-assisted Peugeot 207 Super 2000. Xavier Panseri will co-drive.

"It's fantastic to be doing this rally," said Bouffier. "It will be my first time there and although I have heard a lot of things about the event it is always better after you have seen it on the recce. Then you really know what it will be like."

Bouffier, whose full programme for 2011 remains unconfirmed, will prepare for Rally Islas Canarias with a two-day test in France, which was due to get underway today [Thursday].

"This will be a good opportunity to make some good improvements [to the set-up] for the next rally," he added.