The inaugural RACMSA Rally of Scotland was treated to an all-star launch event in Glasgow this week, with three-time Formula One world champion Sir Jackie Stewart leading the way towards this years IRC grand finale.
Scotland has an amazing heritage when it comes to motor sport and rallying in particular, said Sir Jackie. Traditionally the RAC Rally was one of the biggest in the world and it went through England and Wales but it was Scotland that was the largest part, with probably the best special stages anywhere in the world.
Weve had world class rally drivers such as Andrew Cowan, Jimmy McRae and his sons Colin and Alister as well as great teams and great circuit racing drivers, so it is entirely fitting for Scotland to join the likes of Monte Carlo and Sanremo on the IRC calendar.
IRC series coordinator Xavier Gavory added: It is a great privilege for the IRC, in only its third full season, to start out in Monte Carlo back in January and to end the year on these legendary Scottish stages. This is the ideal event for our premier TV package, with four stages being broadcast live in their entirety.
Sir Jackie declared Scotland to be the best-kept secret in world travel and was upbeat about the positive effect the event would have on trade and tourism.
I think the importance of the Rally of Scotland is clear because the Scottish parliament has put its backing behind the event, he said. Im looking forward to watching the action in Stirling alongside our First Minister, Alex Salmond. We can project ourselves as Scots and as a tourism and business destination in a better way through sport and through the RACMSA Rally of Scotland.
Gould for BFGoodrich Drivers‘ Team in Scotland
English youngster Adam Gould has been offered the chance to break into the big time at the wheel of the BFGoodrich Drivers´ Team Peugeot 207 S2000 on the RACMSA Rally of Scotland.
21-year-old Gould was nominated by a panel of journalists from his home country by a landslide margin, and will represent Britain on its inaugural round of the IRC on November 19-21.
In a stirring season for the Kronos-prepared BFGoodrich car, it took victory on the Monte Carlo Rally in January with Sebastien Ogier at the wheel and has shown competitively with Thierry Neuville in Ypres, Martin Prokop in Zlin and Luca Cantamessa in Sanremo. For the final outing of the season, the BFGoodrich drive deservedly goes to the maturing talent of Gould, who contested this year’s British Rally Championship.
"This is absolutely fantastic news." said Gould. "I’ve got to say a big thanks to everybody who voted for me and assure them that I will do my absolute best when I get to the event. It’ll be a privilege to drive for Kronos and to represent the MSA and Kronos."
BRC Champion Cronin to make S2000 debut in Scotland
Keith Cronin will make his debut in a Super 2000 car on RACMSA Rally of Scotland.
Cronin, from Ireland, won this seasons British Rally Championship in a Ralliart Lancer E9. He had been due to use that car on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge finale but will instead switch to an Abarth Grande Punto S2000, run by the Italian Procar team. He was due to complete a test in Italy this week.
He said: Super 2000 is the way rallying is going in the future and I want to be a part of it. That means I need to drive a Super 2000 car as soon as possible. I could probably get a better result in my Ralliart because of my experience and I would like to have more time in one before Scotland but its a great opportunity for me and Ill be doing my best to make the most of it.
British legend savours ‚monster‘ Scottish stage
Rallying legend Jimmy McRae has described the final stage of RACMSA Rally of Scotland as a monster after driving through the route recently.
The five-time British Rally champion and father of 1995 WRC champion Colin McRae will see his youngest son Alister himself a former British and Asia-Pacific champion competing on the event in a Proton Satria Neo Super 2000. Looking forward to the event, McRae declared that the Loch Ard stage will be a major challenge for crews.
Totalling 33.52 kilometres, the stage will be used twice on Saturday November 21, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. It will be televised live throughout the Eurosport network.
McRae said: The organisers have found a true monster stage to create a sting in the tail and this will ensure the result will remain in doubt until the cars clear the stage.
The stage is medium narrow throughout on a good hard based surface but there will never be a time for the drivers to take a breather and their powers of concentration and fitness will be tested to the limit.
Rallye Monte Carlo entries open on Monday
The Automobile Club de Monaco will open the entries for next years eagerly-anticipated event on Monday November 9th. With a record-setting 14 stages of live TV coverage, an unrivalled package for teams, sponsors and fans and a much-praised new event route, entries for the most famous rally in the world are available at www.acm.mc
While the 78th Rallye Monte Carlo is an historic and prestigious occasion on the global sports calendar, as part of the IRC it is open not only to the top professional teams but also to talented amateur crews. As an added incentive to amateur crews wishing to take part on this famous event the entry fees have been kept at the 2009 level of 3000 and additionally they will be free to choose their own tyres and petrol supplier.