Valtteri Bottas is understood to be lining up a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC for next month’s Arctic Rally.
The Mercedes Formula 1 driver confirmed he will tackle the Rovaniemi-based event to local media and DirtFish sources have indicated 2C Competition is likely to supply one, making it a third different car for Bottas’ third attempt at the rally.
“If it happens, I will be on the start line,” Bottas told Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat.
First time out on the Arctic Rally, Bottas placed a Ford Fiesta WRC fifth, having won one of last year’s event’s 10 stages.
Earlier this season he ran in a similar position driving a Citroën DS3 WRC before crashing on the final day one stage. He returned on day two, but struggled in heavy snow.
Talking about his run on this year’s event, Bottas said: “It was more difficult this year. On day one there were many mistakes and minutes lost, but [the second day] was better.
“Towards the end of the day, there was more snow falling and I was struggling in the poor visibility compared to the more experienced guys.
“The more loose snow there was, the slower I was, but in any case, it was still good fun.”
Bottas’ third appearance on the Arctic Rally is unlikely to mark his World Rally Championship debut despite it being in line for a late call-up to the WRC calendar.
Rally Sweden’s earlier cancellation, which currently leaves the 2021 calendar without a pure snow rally, has led WRC Promoter to consider adding the rally to its 2021 schedule.
However, such an arrangement is expected to involve the running of a second, separate rally in February, while Bottas will compete in the Finnish championship event on January 15-16.
Prior to his Arctic Rally return, Bottas had taken a maiden rally win at last year’s Rallycircuit Côte d’Azur, driving a PH Sport-run DS3 WRC.