The Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally team has announced that Gigi Galli will join Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson next season as the M-Sport run outfit competes in the WRC for the third full year in succession.

Galli will take over the slot previously held by Jari-Matti Latvala, the Finn having been promoted to Ford's 'A' team alongside Mikko Hirvonen.

Galli, like Henning and Wilson, will compete on all 15-events and all three will get to use the latest 2007 spec Focus, which made its debut in the WRC back in the summer on the Rally Finland.

Galli will be nominated permanently to score manufacturers' points, while the second nominated driver will be 'left open'.

Indeed on the season opening Rallye Monte Carlo next month, the Stobart team will field four cars, with Francois Duval, who ran as a Ford 'works' driver on several occasions from 2002 to 2004, running as the official 'second' driver.

"It's set to be another exciting year for the Stobart team after such a successful season this year," said team boss, Malcolm Wilson.

"Jari-Matti's promotion to the BP-Ford Abu Dhabi team has left an opportunity for someone to join this very competitive squad and we are happy to announce that it will be Italian driver Gigi Galli. Gigi has a wealth of experience in the WRC and I'm sure will be a great asset for the team.

"Matthew and Henning will again be part of the Stobart team after some fantastic performances in the 2007 championship. The battle this year with Subaru [for third in the manufacturers'] came down to the final event in Wales and next year things are again looking strong for the Stobart squad."

The two points scoring Stobart Focus RS WRC cars meanwhile will switch to using numbers seven and eight in 2008, as opposed to the nine and ten used this year, something that is a result of the outfits improved performance in the manufacturers'.

Wilson will retain his regular number 16 next year for those events where he is not nominated to score for the team.