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Although the official list of entries will not be published until next week (15 August), event bosses have revealed that the reigning Czech rally champion will compete in a Peugeot 207 S2000 run by the Belgian Kronos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.
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.”