*World championship frontrunner to enter Rally Islas Canarias
*Norwegian will drive Ford Fiesta R5
*Asphalt event takes place from 10-12 March
Mads Østberg will take part on the opening round of the 2016 FIA European Rally Championship, Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés.
Østberg has been competing in the World Rally Championship for the past 10 years and is one of only a handful of drivers with a victory in the series to their name.
Currently driving for the M-Sport World Rally Team after a stint with the factory Citroën outfit, he sits third in the 2016 WRC standings after a recent podium finish in Sweden.
The 28-year-old Norwegian will drive a Ford Fiesta R5 in the Canary Islands for what will be his ERC debut. He will be joined by his new co-driver for 2016 and fellow Norwegian Ola Fløene.
Based in Las Palmas, Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés takes place from 10-12 March as the first of 10 events across Europe.
ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley said: “I am very pleased to welcome Mads Østberg to the ERC for the first rally of our 2016 season. He has been one of the leading rally drivers in the world during the last few years and to have a driver of his calibre compete in the ERC shows the appeal of the championship. I am sure that the stages will provide a great challenge for Mads and Ola and the rest of the competitors, who will want to take their chance to stand out against world class opposition.”
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