Rallye Deutschland entry swells

Citroen's tarmac ace Philippe Bugalski and rising British star Neil Wearden have joined the entry for next month's Rallye Deutschland, the dress rehearsal for Germany's probable inclusion in the 2001 World Rally Championship

Rallye Deutschland entry swells

Bugalski will drive a works Xsara World Rally Car in the Trier-based event, which runs from July 5-8.

"I'm delighted to be going and, being an asphalt event, I think we've a good chance of winning," said Bugalski. "It's also excellent experience for the future."

British star Neil Wearden will drive a Grifone-prepared Peugeot 206WRC on the event as part of his experience-broadening programme with management company Slipstream that also includes four WRC rounds.

Wearden has performed well on asphalt rallies. Victory on the 1999 Ulster Rally with Vauxhall was the 28-year-old's first international rally win, although Wearden and co-driver Trevor Agnew say they are looking for experience, not a podium.

The Lancastrian said: "Slipstream has been monitoring the situation regarding Rallye Deutschland for some time, and as it looks increasingly likely that it will be part of the FIA World Rally Championship next year, it has entered me on the event to gain experience.

"Many of the stages are repeated, so that will enable us to try different things and compare our times over the same section of road. I won't drive my car until the official shakedown on the eve of the rally, so we will approach the first part of the event as an extended test session.

"When we're happy with our performance, we aim to raise the pace and try to set some competitive times on maybe the final leg of the event. The aim is to complete as many stages as possible and gain experience in preparation for next year."

The 2001 Rallye Deutschland starts from Trier on Friday 6 July. All 18 special stages take place on smooth asphalt roads around the towns of Trier, Baumholder and St Wendel. The finish is in Trier on Sunday 8 July.

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