Alister McRae is gearing up to return to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge when the season draws to a close on RACMSA Rally of Scotland on November 19-21.
McRae, the younger brother of the late 1995 world rally champion Colin, won the IRC pilot event Zulu Rally South Africa in May 2006.
He is due to drive a Proton Satria Neo Super 2000 for the factory-backed MEM World Rally Team operation from the UK.
Now 38, McRae, made his debut in the car during a round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship in Indonesia recently, and said he would relish driving it on his home event.
It would be great to be in the car again, said McRae, who currently lives in Australia. I know the nature of the stages being used on Rally of Scotland because I have done some of them before. It would obviously be great to be competing in the IRC in Scotland.
Honda ready for IRC finale
Honda will be hoping to secure the coveted runner-up spot in the Intercontinental Rally Challenges 2WD Cup on the final round in Scotland next month.
The company is just two points behind rival Abarth with the Scottish gravel event remaining. With a strong turn-out of Civic Type Rs expected on the season finale, the prospect of finishing second behind winner Peugeot is very realistic indeed.
Hondas optimism was increased following a successful participation on Rallye Sanremo in Italy last month. Italian driver Sandro Sottile won the two-wheel-drive class in 17th overall in a Civic Type R, while Hungarian Laszlo Vizin finished sixth in the highly competitive category.
Alessandro Mariani, the boss of JAS Motorsport, which overseas Hondas IRC attack, said: Once again our cars proved to be both quick and reliable. Despite having no permanent entries on the IRC this year, we have managed to challenge for second place in the IRC 2WD Cup. We now look forward to more success.
British champion ready for IRC in Scotland
British rally champion Keith Cronin is set to boost the Ralliart assault on RACMSA Rally of Scotland, the final round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in November.
Cronin, from Ireland, won the British title for the first time last month at the wheel of a Mitsubishi Lancer E9. He now hopes to underline his stunning achievement this season by entering the gravel event.
Ive proved my pace in the British championship this season against good drivers like Mark Higgins and now I want to see how I get on against the top drivers from the IRC like Kris Meeke, said Cronin.
Cronin, 23, is also planning to contest more rounds of the IRC next season as he looks to further his experience of competing on international rallies.
At the moment it will all come down to getting enough sponsorship but if I can get the money then I would like to do some IRC rounds next year, he said.
Neuville wants more IRC in 2010
Thierry Neuville doesnt want his starring drive in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge to be a one-off and is considering further outings in the series next season.
Neuville, a German-speaking Belgian, impressed at the wheel of the BFGoodrich Drivers Team Peugeot 207 Super 2000 on the Belgium Ypres Westhoek Rally in June. He ran as high as fourth before crashing out close to the end of the opening leg of the event.
I would like to drive in a car with more power next year so a Peugeot 207 in the IRC could be a good thing for me, said Neuville, 21. The level of drivers in the IRC is very high and there are some very good rallies but, at the moment, I have to cross my fingers because I do not have the budget to do this.
Neuville said he was also considering tackling RACMSA Rally of Scotland, the IRC finale in November, but that it would depend on his Belgian championship programme.
Meeke praises 2010 Rallye Monte Carlo route
Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion, Kris Meeke, has praised the changes being planned for the Monte Carlo Rally, which will open the 2010 IRC season from January 19-22.
Meeke, who has driven his Peugeot UK-backed 207 Super 2000 to victory on four rounds of the IRC so far this season, said the decision by the Monte Carlo organisers to run a five-mile selection stage to determine the starting order of the rally, was inspired.
Its what rallying needs a team of organises who are prepared to play around with the format of an event rather than being sterile all of the time, said Meeke. The selection stage is a fantastic idea and its something that should be done on all rallies.
Guy Wilks, Meekes fellow Briton who has competed in several rounds of this year’s IRC for the factory Proton squad, added: Its an awesome event and an awesome challenge often in variable weather conditions. It will be great for the IRC and fantastic for the spectators.