Skoda has confirmed that Ypres Rally winner - and current IRC points leader - Freddy Loix is to compete for the factory team in the upcoming Rally Bohemia.

The Belgian's appearance in the event at the wheel of a Fabia S2000 comes after Skoda factory driver Jan Kopecky was forced to withdraw after co-driver Petr Stary was injured in an accident during shakedown for the Ypres Rally.

"I have heard that the profile of Rally Bohemia is similar to that of the Barum Rally and that it is a great but difficult rally," Loix said. "I am looking forward to it, it's a new challenge for me.

"I am sorry for Jan and Petr as we could have made a strong team together. Anyway, we are going to do our best, and although my unfamiliarity with the track will be bit of a disadvantage for me, myself and Fr?deric [Miclott] want to fight for the top positions."

Skoda motorsport boss Michal Hrab?nek admitted it was disappointing that Kopecky will be unable to take part in the event but said Loix was a worthy addition to the field.

"We take our participation in Bohemia for granted. We are sorry that Kopeck? and Star? cannot take part due to the co-driver's injury. On the other hand, I am sure that the appearance by the current IRC leader Freddy Loix will make this rally highly attractive and will be a good reason for fans to come to this event."