There will be three Octavia WRC's at the start of the Finland Rally. Two will be for Skoda regulars, Bruno Thiry and Armin Schwarz, but Stig Blomqvist and co-driver Ana Goni will drive the third.

Blomqvist is one of the most famous rally drivers of his generation and someone with a longstanding relationship with Skoda.

In 1996 the experienced Swedish driver finished in a remarkable third place in his Felicia Kit Car in the British RAC Rally. Now, five years on, he returns to the fold to drive alongside the Czech team in Finland.

Although Blomqvist says he will compete as a professional and he respects the challenge ahead, he insists that Finland will be a one-off.

"I have a nice memories for the time I was a Skoda works driver and the opportunity to drive Octavia WRC in World Rally Championship round is of course a thrilling opportunity for me, " says Blomqvist. "It is useful that I know the car from some previous testing and two days of further testing are scheduled prior to the rally. I will try to set up the Octavia WRC as much to my driving style as possible during this test session."

Blomqvist diplomatically refuses to be drawn on the result of his outing with the Octavia WRC saying only: "It is hard to predict, but the opportunity itself is off course very motivating".

The head of the Skoda works team, Pavel Janeba, says the opportunity to have Blomqvist back on the team will bring back happy memories.

"We had good times with Stig and will do maximum in our power to make him satisfied with the car," said Janeba. "The Finland Rally is a one-off for him, but I am sure his starting with an Octavia WRC can only strengthen the reputation of Skoda Auto."

Blomqvist, who is already familiar with the Octavia and has made the necessary adjustments to the driver's seat, will be sporting the colours of his own sponsors during the rally.

The 53 year old legendary Swede cooperated with the Skoda Motorsport team from 1994 to 1997. He was involved in development of the Skoda Felicia Kit Car, the successful F2 rally car, and he rallied it from 1995 until 1997. He also helped the team with the development of the Octavia Kit Car which was the two wheel drive predecessor of the Octavia WRC.

During his career Stig Blomqvist won 11 rounds of the World Rally Championship and finished 33 times on the podium. In 1984 he became World Champion with co-driver Bj?rn Cederberg.

The crew of Stig Blomqvist and Ana Goni has competed in four World Championship rounds this season, with a N group car entered by the David Sutton Team and are currently in 6th place with six points in the FIA Team's Cup.