Andreas Mikkelsen says his participation in the Trofeo Rally Terra, the Italian Gravel Rally Championship, will make him and his team a stronger force in this year's Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

Mikkelsen is contesting the IRC this season with Skoda UK Motorsport alongside co-driver Ola Floene.

In addition, he will also undertake a six-round programme of Italian gravel events with Skoda Rally Team Italia, starting with Rally dell'Adriatico on 1 April.

"It's a fantastic opportunity to do the Italian Gravel championship with Skoda Rally Team Italia," he said. "It's the same guys that run the IRC programme for Skoda UK Motorsport so we already know each other well and these additional rallies will help us grow stronger as a team.

"As this year's IRC features mostly asphalt rallies, the Italian Gravel championship will also help me to keep my speed up on the loose so it's a win-win situation, whichever way you look at it."

Rally dell'Adriatico is based in Ancona on Italy's east coast. The event covers 110 competitive kilometres on a mixture of smooth and medium fast gravel stages.

Mikkelsen resumes his IRC bid on Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Ingles next month.