Ogier, Hirvonen tipped for IRC returns

The Intercontinental Rally Challenge has been boosted by speculation that Sebastien Ogier and Mikko Hirvonen will return to the series in the next two events

Ogier, Hirvonen tipped for IRC returns

Ogier has been tipped to drive a Peugeot 207 S2000 on Rally d'Italia-Sardegna and on the Ypres Rally, while Ford's Hirvonen has been linked to a Fiesta S2000 run on the Belgian event.

Ogier and Hirvonen, both of whom compete in the World Rally Championship for Citroen and Ford respectively, starred on the opening round of this year's IRC - the Monte Carlo Rally. Hirvonen won the event, while Ogier set fastest times but retired with mechanical problems. Both said at the time they would like to return to IRC later in the year.

Next month's Ypres Rally is rapidly building into one of the most competitive rounds of the series to date, with Proton committing its two-car team to the Belgian classic. The British-based team, which runs Alister McRae and Chris Atkinson, had been expected to start its campaign in Sardinia, but will focus on asphalt development of the car instead.

"It's no secret that we had looked at starting our IRC programme in Sardinia," said team boss Chris Mellors, "but we've decided to go for Ypres instead. If we had gone to Sardinia with the car, it would have seriously restricted the amount of asphalt testing we'd have been able to do with the car before Belgium.

"Having seen the way we've been able to develop the car on the gravel with the extra loose-surface testing over the winter, we felt it made more sense to focus on preparing the cars and drivers for Ypres, which is undoubtedly one of the classic European events."

shares
comments
Sanremo cancels mixed-surface plan

Previous article

Sanremo cancels mixed-surface plan

Next article

Andersson not expecting Sardinia win

Andersson not expecting Sardinia win
Load comments
Ireland deserves a WRC round Plus

Ireland deserves a WRC round

Drivers are in accordance: Ireland should be in the World Rally Championship. DAVID EVANS followed the Circuit of Ireland and was left with no doubt that the drivers are right

ERC
Apr 23, 2014
Kubica's rally to recovery Plus

Kubica's rally to recovery

Robert Kubica's rally speed is obviously there - in abundance - but he's got to stop crashing. Charles Bradley went to the Azores to get the lowdown on the ex-F1 star's comeback trail

ERC
May 3, 2013
Why Kubica can win on ERC debut Plus

Why Kubica can win on ERC debut

Former GP winner Robert Kubica makes his international comeback this week in the Canaries Rally. And David Evans reckons he'll win aboard a Citroen DS3 RRC

ERC
Mar 21, 2013
Rallying's new era keeps the best of the old Plus

Rallying's new era keeps the best of the old

As the IRC to ERC transformation takes effect in Austria, David Evans is excited that the IRC's promotional strengths will carry over - but still wishes the WRC could get some of that magic

ERC
Jan 3, 2013
Farewell IRC, long live ERC Plus

Farewell IRC, long live ERC

As the Intercontinental Rally Challenge prepares for its swansong in Cyprus, David Evans recalls the shortlived series' heyday - and looks ahead to its European successor

ERC
Nov 1, 2012
The 2011 IRC season review Plus

The 2011 IRC season review

The fifth Intercontinental Rally Challenge was the best yet, and it was Skoda UK driver Andreas Mikkelsen who emerged as champion from a tense five-way shootout at the season finale. Matt Beer reviews the season

ERC
Nov 22, 2011
Who to watch in the Monte Carlo Rally Plus

Who to watch in the Monte Carlo Rally

This year is the Monte Carlo Rally's centenary and, just as in recent years, there's no shortage of World Rally Championship stars turning up to give the IRC regulars a run for their money

ERC
Jan 18, 2011
The top 10 IRC drivers of 2010 Plus

The top 10 IRC drivers of 2010

The competition didn't run as deep as it might have, but there was plenty of fight at the front with six of our top 10 winning rallies during the season. Matt Beer puts them in order

ERC
Nov 29, 2010