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The IRC offers some of the best rally action, and other news

The Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) series undoubtedly offers up of the best rally action for enthusiasts. Not in agreement? Check this video out!

And in other news from the series:
Czech hero Pavel Valousek will be among more than 100 drivers in action on Barum Czech Rally Zlin later this month, organisers of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) qualifier have confirmed.

Although the official list of entries will not be published until next week (15 August), event bosses have revealed that the reigning Czech rally champion will compete in a Peugeot 207 S2000 run by the Belgian Kronos Racing organisation, which claimed back to back victories in Zlin with Nicolas Vouilloz and Freddy Loix in 2007 and 2008 respectively. The bulging entry also features a number of the IRC’s big guns, including Peugeot drivers Bryan Bouffier, Thierry Neuville and Guy Wilks, plus the trio of factory SKODA Motorsport pilots Juho Hanninen, Jan Kopecky and Freddy Loix, who will be bidding to make it three wins in a row for the Czech manufacturer on the asphalt event, which takes place from 26-28 August. The full entry list will be published at 18h00 on Monday 15 August and will be available at http://www.rally-irc.com. All eight IRC manufacturers, Abarth, Honda, M-Sport (Ford), Peugeot, PROTON, Ralliart (Mitsubishi), SKODA and Subaru, will be represented on the 41st running of the Czech rally, which counts as round seven of the 2011 IRC season.

Chris Atkinson/Stephane Prevot - Picture by Euan Cameron.

PROTON Motorsports will resume its IRC campaign in Zlin too. The Malaysian squad skipped the last round of the series, Sata Rallye Acores, due to a clashing Asia Pacific championship event in New Zealand, which it won with Chris Atkinson and co-driver Stephane Prevot. For this all-asphalt rally, the MEM-run squad will enter a brace of Satria Neo Super 2000s for Swede PG Andersson and Italian Giandomenico Basso.

Andersson hasn’t contested a round of the IRC since June’s GEKO Ypres Rally. He has also never competed in Zlin before but took part on Finland’s round of the world championship last month, which he believes will help his chances on the IRC qualifier. “It’s always good to have time in a car because it helps you to stay sharp,” said the 31-year-old Swedish driver, who unlike team-mate Basso is still waiting to open his point-scoring account in the IRC this season.

Kronos Racing boss Marc van Dalen believes Guy Wilks is still in the fight for the Intercontinental Rally Challenge title and says he can so no reason why the Briton can’t secure a podium finish on the next round of the series in Czech Republic. Wilks, who is driving a Peugeot UK-backed 207 Super 2000 for the Kronos team, is sixth in the IRC standings following retirements in Corsica and Azores.

Van Dalen said: “Everything is still possible with many rallies left including Scotland and Cyprus where there a points and a half and double points available [respectively]. It is very important Guy is on the podium [in Zlin] but for sure he has the speed to do it and we know the car is on the right level. We are all behind him because we win as a team and we lose as a team. I know Guy is 100 per cent motivated to be successful and so are we.”

Guy Wilks in action in the IRC Prime Yalta Rally - Picture by IRC Series.

REVISED and UPDATED South African Rally Championship points and standings

With the findings of Motorsport South Africa’s Court of Enquiry hearing regarding the Toyota Dealer Gauteng Rally (round four) released today and its repercussions regarding that event’s results, here are the revised final results and championship standings:

Round Four – Toyota Dealer Gauteng Rally – Final Overall Result:
01) M. Cronje/R. Houghton
Ford Fiesta S2000 – -1h 36m 55.9s
02) C. Wilken/G. Godrich
Ford Fiesta S2000 + 01m 10.3s
03) E. Kuun/G. Hudgson
Volkswagen Polo S2000 +26.5s
04) H. Fekken/P. Arries
Volkswagen Polo S2000 + 50.8s
05) H. Lategan/J. Van der Merwe
Peugeot 207 S2000 + 45.8s
06) L. Poulter/E. Coetzee
Toyota Auris S2000 + 29.2s
07) N. Ryan/A. Du Toit
Volkswagen Polo S2000 + 01m 05.6s
08) V. Du Plessis/G. Snyman
Peugeot 207 S2000 + 0.8s
09) J. Van Niekerk/S. Vacy-Lyle
Volkswagen Polo S2000 + 8.9s
10) W. Dippenaar/D. Jacobs
Toyota RunX S2000 + 03m 04.1s

Class S1600:
01) G. Botterill/S. Van Heerden
Toyota RunX S1600 – 01h 54, 04.1s
02) T. Conradie/K. Naidoo
Toyota Auris S1600 + 31.3s
03) C. Trott/R. Coetzee
Toyota RunX S1600 + 02m 09.1s

Class A7:
01) R. Reynecke/C. Ackerman
Volkswagen Polo A7 – 02h 00m 13.2s

Class S1400:
01) M. Verlaque/L. Du Plessis
Volkswagen Polo S1400 – 02h 05m 48.3s
02) H. Lategan/P. Jordaan
Volkswagen Polo S1400 – 02h 07m 19.6s

REVISED and UPDATED Overall Drivers’ Championship Standings after Round Five:
01) C. Rautenbach – 85 pts
02) M. Cronje – 79 pts
03) E. Kuun – 78 pts
04) J. Gemmell – 72 pts
05) H. Fekken – 70 pts
06) C. Wilken – 67 pts
07) N. Ryan – 66 pts
08) J. Habig – 55 pts
09) J. Williams – 54 pts
10) G. De Villiers – 46 pts

Conrad Rautenbach/Nicolas Klinger - Picture by Evan Rothman.

IRC ace Bouffier secures victory in Poland

Bryan Bouffier continued his preparations for Barum Czech Rally Zlín, round seven of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge at the end of August, by claiming victory on Rajd Rzeszowski in Poland last weekend.

The 32-year-old, winner of the centenary edition of the IRC-counting Rallye Monte-Carlo in January, topped the leaderboard on both days of the Tarmac rally to move to the top of the Polish championship standings, a title he has won on three occasions in the past. Continue reading IRC ace Bouffier secures victory in Poland

Monument stage opens to WRGB spectators

The organisers of Wales Rally GB have announced that the concluding stage of the 13th and final round of the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar – the Monument Power Stage – will be open to spectators for the first time this year. The Monument stage will be used twice on Sunday 13th November 2011, and it is possible the second running of the stage will play host to the deciding thriller of the whole rally and possibly the entire Championship.

The Power Stage is a new concept in the WRC this season and awards bonus points to the fastest three drivers. To mark this landmark occasion – and after listening to fans’ requests following last year’s successful launch of Monument’s mixed-surface course – organisers have opened up this year’s 4.36km stage exclusively to World Rally Pass (WRP) holders to witness the action up close. Continue reading Monument stage opens to WRGB spectators

Villagra shined in the south as his rivals faded away

In the new era that began with the new Maxi Rally cars, Federico Villagra remains as unbeatable as always. After he won whatever he aimed for at the wheel of a Mitsubishi -with different evolutions- the eight-time Champion is now enjoying a new affair with the Ford Fiesta MR.

Villagra claimed his fourth consecutive victory this weekend after obtaining another stunning win in the Rally Vuelta de la Manzana, the most traditional round of the calendar, an event he has already won in six occasions before. Continue reading Villagra shined in the south as his rivals faded away