Jarkko Nikara will compete in a Prodrive-run MINI John Cooper Works WRC car on Rally Finland next month.

The Finn's last outing in the MINI was at Rally Sweden in February - as the planned subsequent run on Rally de Portugal in April was aborted.

While Nikara has competed on his home event before, this will be his first outing on it in a World Rally Car. To prepare for the Jyvaskyla-based event, he and co-driver Jarkko Kalliolepo will compete in the Kouvola Rally in two weeks, which is part of the Finnish Rally Championship.

"I have been waiting a long time to get back behind the wheel of the MINI, and to do it on my home event will be extra special," Nikara commented. "The car is easy to drive, so I do not think it will take me long to find my pace and rhythm.

"Unlike previous events, I will have more practice time in the car and with the extra power on this fast rally, I think we can really push for a good finish."

Nikara will drive the latest specification of MINI WRC on the event, which was introduced in March with an upgraded engine giving the car around another 8 bhp.

Richard Taylor, Prodrive business development director added: "The whole team here is eager to get back to a full WRC event and to see how the improved MINI performs in the hands of a driver who likes these roads and we know is capable of setting top-ten stage times even in such a strong field."