Ford has entered lead driver Mikko Hirvonen for next month’s Rally of Serbia, in preperation for the brand new Bulgarian rally in July.

Four of the remaining WRC rounds are tarmac based, including Bulgaria, so Citroen’s competition need to get back up to speed quickly on sealed surfaces to avoid the French marque locking out the podium for the rest of the season.

“This season has been entirely based on loose surface roads so far, and the last all-asphalt event in which I competed was in Spain last October,” explained Hirvonen.“The Serbia Rally will provide the opportunity for me to shed the rust on this surface in competitive surroundings. It’s purely a test session and developing a good feeling again with the Focus RS WRC on asphalt will be the priority.”

Meanwhile at Stobart Ford, S2000 frontrunner and former JWRC champion PG-Anderssen will contest Rally Bulgaria in one of the team’s Focuses, and will be nominated for manufacturer points.

“I'm really proud to be joining the Stobart team in a Ford Focus RS WRC,” he said. “I had my first test in the Focus two weeks ago on a gravel surface and everything went very smoothly. My only concern is that the stages in Bulgaria are tarmac and these are not my preference so it may take a bit of time to get used to the car on a new surface. I'm sure it will all be fine though and I am very excited about joining the team.”