Six time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi will support the BBC's Children in Need appeal when he takes part in December's Wales Rally GB.

The Italian's M-Sport-developed Ford Focus will carry Children in Need logos during the season-ending round of the 2008 World Rally Championship. The event takes place two weeks after the nationally-televised BBC Children in Need event and the charity will be using Rossi's involvement to lead one final push for donations.

"This is really exciting news. I'm looking forward to Wales Rally GB - and am hoping for a good result at next weekend's Monza Rally in order to prepare for the forests," said Rossi. "I'm also delighted to be supporting BBC Children in Need, which does such vital work in the UK. It's a great charity and one I'm very pleased to be involved in."

"It's a tremendous honour to have Valentino Rossi promoting BBC Children in Need," said Children in Need spokesman Marc Phillips. "We have had a remarkable response to this year's event on November 14th - and Wales Rally GB will be a fabulous final flourish for us. With a charity auction being held at the Service Park on the Friday night and volunteers collecting throughout the rally, it will be an important few days for us."

Rossi hasn't taken part in Rally GB since an ill-fated outing in 2002, but finished an impressive eleventh in the 2006 Rally of New Zealand.

"We're delighted to welcome Valentino Rossi to this year's Wales Rally GB," said Andrew Coe, chief executive of event organiser International Motor Sports Ltd. "He is a supreme ambassador for all forms of motor sport, as well as a remarkably-gifted sportsman. We look forward to seeing him take on the challenges of the Welsh forests."

Wales Rally GB takes place on December 4-7.



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