Meeke gets top seed for Monte Carlo
|By David Evans||Monday, January 11th 2010, 13:34 GMT|
Britain's reigning Intercontinental Rally Challenge champions Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle have been seeded first for next week's Monte Carlo Rally.
The entry list, issued by the Automobile Club de Monaco today, features 63 cars, 19 of which are Super 2000s.
Directly behind Meeke's Peugeot 207 S2000 is Mikko Hirvonen's Ford Fiesta S2000, the M-Sport-built car making its first competitive appearance on the event which starts from Valence on Tuesday January 19.
Meeke's fellow British driver - and winner of the last IRC round of 2009 - Guy Wilks gets his first season with the Skoda UK Motorsport team underway from the 10th seed.
Renault Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica has been seeded 37th for his entry in a Renault Clio R3. Monte Carlo will be the Pole's third rally outing since the end of the 2009 F1 season, after he finished 29th on the Rallye du Var in France and crashed out of the Taormina-Messina Rally in Sicily.
As expected, there are a brace of Peugeots for Sebastien Ogier, last year's Monte Carlo winner, and ex-Formula 1 driver Stephane Sarrazin. In addition to Wilks' Fabia, there are a brace of factory cars for Jan Kopecky and Juho Hanninen, both of whom set fastest times on the event last season.
IRC regular Franz Wittmann switches from a Mitsubishi to a Peugeot for this season and there's a Monte return for former WRC driver Toni Gardemeister (Abarth Grande Punto).
Outside of the leading entries, Irishman Eamonn Boland starts in a Mitsubishi, with British privateers Richard Banks (Subaru), Harry Hunt (Fiesta ST) and 18-year-old Tom Cave (also Fiesta ST) making the start.