Eurosport, Europe’s largest television sports channel, will show live coverage from Barum Czech Rally Zlin, round nine of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, this weekend (27-29 August).
In addition to the live broadcasts, Eurosport will also screen extensive highlights of both legs of the IRC qualifier, which has attracted a 130-car capacity entry.
Eurosport will broadcast live or slightly delayed (subject to timing) from the stop point at the end of special stage six from 15:00hrs-15:30hrs CET on Saturday August 28. It will also broadcast live from the event parc ferme from 19:00hrs-19:30hrs CET later that day. On Sunday, coverage from the rally’s service park will be shown live from 12:30hrs-13:00hrs CET.
A full schedule is available by visiting www.rally-irc.com and clicking on the TV Times section.
On top of this international coverage, national TV channels Czech Television, TV Prima and RTA will also cover the event.
Barum Czech Rally Zlin begins with a ceremonial start on Friday 27 August at 17:00hrs local time. The opening stage is a 9.36-kilometre run through the streets of host city Zlin. Crews will tackle the course in reverse number order with the first car due to start at 21:15hrs.
Fast Freddy expects tough fight in Czech Republic
Freddy Loix has conceded that his bid to make it three wins from three starts in this season’s Intercontinental Rally Challenge will be a tall order.
Belgian Loix starts Barum Czech Rally Zlin on Friday aiming to preserve his 100 per cent winning record at the wheel of his Skoda Motorsport Fabia S2000 Facelift.
Loix, who will be co-driven by countryman Frederic Miclotte, said: "I hope so but I know it will be very difficult because there are a lot of quick guys who will take the start. It’s Jan Kopecky’s home rally and he will be more motivated than ever to win. It will be a big fight with lots of good cars and good drivers. I hope I can fight with them."
The 39-year-old won Barum Czech Rally Zlin in 2008. He prepared for the event with a test last week, which lasted for one and a half days. However, because Miclotte was contesting another rally in Germany, Loix recruited former navigator Isidor Smets to co-drive.
"The first test base was quite quick, the second one bumpy and more technical," said Loix. "I did not drive a lot but we worked very efficiently."
Neuville plans new approach for IRC return
Thierry Neuville plans to adopt a new strategy when he resumes his Intercontinental Rally Challenge campaign on Barum Czech Rally Zlin this week.
Although the 22-year-old claimed a podium finish on Geko Ypres Rally in June, his third of six-planned starts in the IRC this season, he admits he has yet to show any real pace at the wheel of his Team Peugeot Belgium-Luxembourg 207.
"I showed in Sardinia and Ypres that I can drive clever rallies by finishing," said Neuville. "Now I need to show some speed. Marc [van Dalen, his Kronos Racing team boss] wants me to still be careful but I have to begin to set some good stage times although I know that won’t be easy because the speed of the main IRC guys is very high."
Although Neuville will be a Zlin novice when he takes the start in the city centre on Friday evening, his French co-driver Nicolas Klinger has competed on the event in the past, finishing second alongside Nicolas Vouilloz in 2008.
Hunt talks down IRC 2WD chances in Zlin
Leading IRC 2WD Cup competitor Harry Hunt says it will be virtually impossible for him to claim his second victory of the season in the two-wheel drive category on Barum Czech Rally Zlin this week.
The 21-year-old topped the IRC 2WD Cup standings on Rally d’Italia-Sardegna in June in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta R2. However, a huge contingent of 2WD competitors in Czech Republic means the British driver has restricted his expectations to merely reaching the finish of the 17-stage event.
"I feel I am better on Tarmac than on gravel but there’s going to be so many top drivers I’ll be competing against and it’s also a specialist rally that I have no experience of," said Hunt. "At least we’ll get three passes during the recce so that will give me more confidence in my pacenotes."
Hunt’s main rivals include Clio R3 drivers Kevin Abbring, Pierre Campana and young Czech Jan Cerny. Honda Civic Type-R pair Laszlo Vizin and Martin Kangur will also be in contention.