Pontus Tidemand has signed a contract to join Skoda Motorsport, it has been announced.

Tidemand, who won the Junior WRC title in 2013, will now drive a Skoda in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, making his debut with the works squad at the opening round in New Zealand next month.

"I am looking forward to this new challenge," said Tidemand. "I am proud that my name is now on the list of Skoda drivers - one of the most successful manufacturers in rallying."

Skoda boss Michal Hrabanek added: "Our team already boasts the Asia-Pacific champion Jan Kopecky and European champion Esapekka Lappi, who have performed impressively in recent years. To ensure we are even better positioned to succeed in the future, we have now added another very talented duo, in the form of Pontus Tidemand and [his co-driver] Emil Axelsson.

"We firmly believe in the extraordinary qualities of Pontus and Emil," Hrabanek continued. "We plan to have our team running the new Skoda Fabia R 5 in the APRC by the end of the year - after all, the season finale takes place in our most important market, China."



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