Kristian Sohlberg will return to the World Rally Championship after a six-year absence, having confirmed that he will take part in selected rounds of next year's FIA series at the wheel of an Autotek-run Ford Fiesta R5.

The Finn's first WRC outing was Rally Finland in 2000 and, two years later, he contested the Production World Rally Championship (PWRC), winning the first two rounds and finishing the year in second place overall. From 2003 to 2006, Sohlberg contested WRC rounds with Mitsubishi, Subaru and Ford before returning to PWRC in 2007.

"I am absolutely delighted to get this opportunity and can't wait to get back out on the stages to entertain the fans," the 35-year old commented, "It's been six years since my last outing in WRC and I have heard only positive things about the R5, so I am really looking forward in getting in the car.

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"I have worked hard for years and now everything has finally come together. I want to thank Ken Rees for this opportunity, and the Autotek team for making this possible. However, my biggest thank you has to go to my sponsors - without their support none of this would have been possible."

Based on the 1.6 turbo Ford Fiesta ST road car, the R5 has been a huge success since it was launched earlier this year. With its primary aim to reduce costs for the customer, M-Sport developed the new generation of rally car which can be easily managed and maintained by teams around the globe.

"It's been a long time coming, but it's fantastic to have Kristian back in the WRC again," Rees commented, "The Fiesta R5 is set to be the future of the sport and is the ideal model for those who are keen to progress. Kristian's full schedule is yet to be confirmed, but we hope to have more news soon."