Magalhaes vows to hit back in the Azores


Bruno Magalhaes has vowed to hit back from the disappointment of
retiring from the GEKO Ypres Rally last week by winning his home
event, Sata Rallye Acores next month.
The Peugeot Sport Portugal ace was fourth overall after the opening
stage in Belgium only for engine failure to force his retirement on
the very next stage. The Lisbon-based Portuguese driver’s
retirement means he slips to 10th position in the Intercontinental
Rally Challenge drivers’ standings after five rounds.
Magalhaes claimed a dramatic final-stage win on Sata Rallye Acores
last season aboard his 207 Super 2000. He hopes to banish the memories
of Ypres by emulating his victory of one year ago when the IRC resumes
on the Atlantic archipelago from 14-16 July.
“For sure we will be strong in the Azores and I really want to
do a good result after Ypres,” said the 30-year-old. “I
know it will be difficult to win again because the pace in the IRC is
fantastic and many drivers have good experience of the roads there
now. But I have good confidence, I am very motivated, I won there last
year and I know I can win again.”
Loix rewarded with Czech rally outing
Freddy Loix has received the ultimate reward for winning the GEKO
Ypres Rally: another outing in his SKODA Fabia Super 2000.
Less than a week after winning the Intercontinental Rally Challenge
round on his home soil, Belgian Loix will be heading to Czech Republic
to contest the national championship Rally Bohemia with the factory
SKODA Motorsport team.
The current IRC leader has been called up to replace Jan Kopecky who
has been prevented from taking part after his co-driver Petr Stary
broke his collarbone in a crash during the pre-event shakedown for the
Ypres Rally. It will be Loix’s first appearance on the Mlada
Boleslav-based rally, which runs from 1-3 July.
“I have heard that the profile of Rally Bohemia is similar to
that of the Barum Rally and that it is a great but difficult
rally,” said the 40-year-old Loix, who will be co-driven by
regular navigator Frederic Miclotte. “I am sorry for Jan and
Petr, we could have made a strong team together. Anyway, we are going
to do our best, and although my unfamiliarity with the [stages] will
be bit of a disadvantage for me, Frederic and I want to fight for the
top ranks.”
SKODA is based in Mlada Boleslav and is also a partner of the event.
The company’s motorsport head Michal Hrabanek said: “I am
sure that the appearance by the current IRC leader Freddy Loix will
make this rally highly attractive and will be a good reason for fans
to come to this event.”
Rally Bohemia features 15 all-asphalt stages over a competitive
distance of 193 kilometres.
Weijs needs funds for more IRC runs
Hans Weijs hopes that his run to third overall on the GEKO Ypres
Rally last week won’t signal his last appearance in the
Intercontinental Rally Challenge this season.
The 24-year-old from Netherlands had only completed a brief test in
his SKODA Fabia Super 2000 before the start of the asphalt event but
drove virtually without error to claim the final podium place and
secure the prestigious Colin McRae IRC Flat Out Trophy in the
“Of course I want to do more events in the IRC and build on
this result but for now we have no sponsors and I can only do more
events if I find extra budget,” said Weijs. “I’ve
shown my speed here and shown what I can do so maybe sponsors will
take an interest in me.”
Eurosport Events completes Scotland visit
Preparations for RACMSA Rally of Scotland, which will form the
penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge from 7-9
October, stepped up a gear earlier this month when a delegation from
Eurosport Events, the IRC’s promoter, visited part of the
competitive route.
The six-strong team was finalising camera locations and helicopter
positions on the Errochty and the new-for-2011 High Corrie stages that
will be included on the all-gravel event later this season.
Xavier Gavory, the IRC’s General Co-ordinator, said:
“Scotland has an incredible landscape with the most challenging
roads for the competitors. This gives us great images for the
television and exciting competition.”
Jean-Pierre Nicolas, the IRC Motorsport Development Manager, added:
“This is one of the most beautiful rallies in the
IRC. Errochty is the best stage: fast, quite wide, it flows and
the surface is just perfect. High Corrie is a slower stage, it is very
tricky and technical and because of this there is lots of
possibilities to make mistakes.”
Details of the RACMSA Rally of Scotland television package will be
announced in due course.

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