Hanninen certain to clinch IRC title
|By Matt Beer||Thursday, September 30th 2010, 23:01 GMT|
Juho Hanninen has effectively clinched the 2010 Intercontinental Rally Challenge title after Skoda decided not to enter his team-mate and last remaining championship rival Jan Kopecky for the next round in Scotland.
Under the IRC scoring system, drivers only count their best seven results from the 12-round season, and Kopecky had to win both Scotland and Cyprus to have any hope of beating Hanninen.
With this considered unlikely given form so far this year, Skoda has opted to guarantee Hanninen the crown by only entering the Finn for the Scottish event on 15-17 October.
"We are all happy with this result because Juho is definitely the right champion of this year's IRC," said Skoda team manager Pavel Hortek.
Former Production WRC frontrunner Hanninen has finished on the podium in every rally bar Ypres this season, with the 28-year-old Finn taking victories in Argentina and Sardinia - but impressing even more with his pace on asphalt, where he has a significant experience deficit.