The 24-year-old will drive a Ford Fiesta RS WRC after team regular Nasser Al Attiyah withdrew his entry due to commitments in Qatar.
Evans, the 2012 FIA WRC Academy Cup winner, is contesting this year’s WRC 2 championship and was expecting his next event to be Rally Finland, where he will drive an R5 specification Fiesta.
Instead, he will step up to the most powerful category next week, after M-Sport’s initial plan to convert Al Attiyah’s Fiesta RS WRC to RRC specification for Evans to drive in the WRC 2 class in Sardinia were rejected today by the FIA.
Evans is already familiar with the Fiesta RS WRC, having received a test drive in it as part of his prize for winning the Academy Cup last year. Retained as a test driver by M-Sport, Evans also tests the team’s cars in the UK before they are transported to WRC events.
Limitations on the number of changes that can be made to an entry mean that Al-Attiyah’s co-driver, Giovanni Bernacchini, will take the place of the Welshman’s normal navigator Daniel Barritt on his Sardinian debut.
“It’s come as fantastic news - when [Qatar Rally Team boss] Malcolm Wilson came and told me I really couldn’t believe it,” said Evans. “I’m very grateful to him and to Nasser for the opportunity. Although it’s a very short time before the start I want to make the most of the opportunity to do the rally and learn a new event.”
“It will be great to get back behind the wheel in competition, but it will certainly be a challenging event. This will be my first time in Sardinia, my first time in a WRC car and my first time with Giovanni. But with the team behind me and Giovanni’s extensive experience, I know that I will be in capable hands.
“I’ll try to get out to Sardinia as early as I can, meet up with him and do as much preparation as we can. We’ll go and find some roads somewhere away from the rally route and get used to each other and the note system. I’m sure everything will work out.
“My aim for the event is just to enjoy it and gain further experience. I’m learning all the time, and if I can make it through all of the stages on this tricky event then I’ll be happy."
Malcolm Wilson said: “It is a huge shame that Nasser won’t be with the team in Sardinia, but unfortunately he has commitments back home in Qatar.
"Elfyn thoroughly deserves this opportunity. He is learning fast, and as he works towards more rounds during the latter half of the season, the added competition – this time behind the wheel of the Fiesta RS WRC – will be extremely valuable.”