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Strong entry for Rally of Scotland

Rally Scotland from the airNext month's Rally of Scotland will feature its strongest ever entry with close to 20 Super 2000 cars starting the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

Clerk of the course Iain Campbell admitted he is delighted with the response to a slightly altered route for this year's event, which features a Stirling Castle start and two runs at the all new Carron Valley stage in the dark on Friday October 7.

Skoda fields cars for defending champion and last year's Scotland winner Juho Hanninen. The Finn's team-mate Jan Kopecky will also be present along with Skoda UK Motorsport star Andreas Mikkelsen. Peugeot is similarly well represented with Guy Wilks, Bryan Bouffier and Thierry Neuville - all of whom are in Northumberland this week for suspension testing.

As well as the IRC regulars, there are a host of British and Irish stars coming, with Alastair Fisher and Craig Breen driving Ford Fiesta S2000s, while Robert Barrable and Jonny Greere will take their Fabias. The big local attraction will be David Bogie - the Mitsubishi driver who has dominated this year's British Rally Championship and could take the title on this weekend's International Rally Yorkshire.

There's also rumour of entries coming from Burcu Cetinkaya in a Fabia S2000 and former Pirelli Star Driver Jarkko Nikara, who is believed to be bringing the Lancer Evo IX he used to win the last round of the Finnish series near Helsinki last weekend.

Campbell said: "While I can't comment on the specifics, this is looking like a fabulous entry. The top 2-plus is going to be superb . and one I as a spectator would be over the moon to watch! Rally fans in Scotland are in for a real treat on next month's event. And with the championship still open, it's going to be everything to play for on our roads."

The weekend sport will be based out of a central service park in Perth, with the drivers tackling the best of the forest stages on offer, including Craigvinean, Drummond Hill and Errochty on Saturday and Loch Chon and High Corrie (which is basically a tweaked Loch Ard stage from the two years before).

The event finishes - after two spectator stages - at Scone Palace on Sunday October 9.

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