Volkswagen is to kick-start its World Rally Championship preparations by joining the field from the next round of the season in Finland.
The VW Motorsport team will enter two S2000 Skoda Fabias in the event as part of its programme leading up to the introduction of the new Polo WRC for the 2013 season.
Although VW has won multiple titles in Rallyraid competition with its Touareg model in recent years, the manufacturer hasn't been seen in the WRC for some time – hence the decision to make use of the S2000 Fabia developed by VW Group-owned Skoda.
Andreas Mikkelsen, who drivers a Fabia for Skoda UK in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge [pictured], will be at the wheel of one car with the second being driven by young Finn Joonas Lindroos.
No drivers for VW's programme with the Polo have been confirmed as yet, although Nasser Al-Attiyah was quoted earlier this month as saying he had agreed to drive one of the cars and would sign his contract during the Nurburgring 24 Hours race weekend.
VW's entry into Rally Finland comes as part of a bumper field is announced for the event, featuring no fewer than 21 WRC cars amongst a field totalling more than 120 cars.