Wallenwein expects strong competition in Zlin


Mark Wallenwein is expecting a tough fight when he returns to the
Intercontinental Rally Challenge on Barum Czech Rally Zlin next week.
Wallenwein, who will form part of a two-strong team from SKODA Auto
Deutschland on the asphalt event, began his IRC campaign with
SKODA’s German importer on the centenary edition of Rallye
Monte-Carlo back in January.
“The IRC is the strongest competition for Super 2000 cars
anywhere in the world,” said Wallenwein. “It’s not
just maybe five cars that can win but many more than that. It’s
good for learning but it’s also a real challenge.”
Wallenwein, who will be partnered at SKODA Auto Deutschland by
multiple German rally champion Matthias Kahle, is lowering his
expectations ahead of the Czech event, which he has never tackled
“All the guys will be very fast and many of them have done the
rally before so I have no expectations,” said the 24-year-old.
“It will only be my second time in this car and I want to
improve my speed for the next event in Hungary, which takes place two
weeks later. But I feel quite good about the rally – I am
Wallenwein and co-driver Stefan Kopczyk finished 21st on Rallye
Monte-Carlo following several delays.
Kronos chief relishing competitive Zlin line-up
Kronos Racing team boss Marc van Dalen says he is relishing the
prospect of running three potential event winners on Barum Czech Rally
Zlin, round seven of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, which takes
place later this month.
The Belgian squad will field a trio of Peugeot 207 Super 2000s for
Thierry Neuville, Pavel Valousek and Guy Wilks. All three are being
tipped as capable of claiming victory on the asphalt event.
“I am very happy to have three very good crews who are all in a
position to make a very strong result,” said van Dalen, who
guided Nicolas Vouilloz and Kris Meeke to back-to-back IRC
drivers’ crowns in 2008 and 2009 respectively. “Each of
them knows the car and the roads and we will also make a two-day test
beforehand so it is a positive situation.”
Asked what he would do in the event of having to adopt team orders,
van Dalen said: “The first objective is that we win for Peugeot.
After that we have to consider we have three different importers,
Belgium-Luxembourg, Czech Republic and United Kingdom. Like always we
will provide the same equipment, the same ideas, the same weather
information, the same chances for all.”
Mikkelsen: season has turned a corner
Andreas Mikkelsen believes his run to second place on last
month’s Sata Rallye Acores is proof that his Intercontinental
Rally Challenge season has been transformed following a luckless start
to his campaign with SKODA UK Motorsport.
The 22-year-old Norwegian had suffered a number of setbacks during
the opening five events of the season but hit back with a sensational
second place finish on the gravel event in his SKODA UK Fabia Super
“Yes we’ve had some disappointments but this sport is a
lot of good things and a lot of bad things,” said Mikkelsen.
“We’ve been very unlucky this year and hopefully our luck
has now changed and it will continue like this.”
He added: “The result [in the Azores] brings me a lot of
confidence. I have been quick on gravel and on Tarmac in Ukraine and
also in Ypres on the second day. The next round, Barum Czech Rally
Zlin, is Tarmac and I have done the rally two times before and
it’s probably the Tarmac rally I know best. But these guys will
be flat out so we will see what we can do. For sure if we’re
pushing to the maximum maybe we can try to win but it will be
After six rounds, Mikkelsen is seventh in the standings on 46 points.
Barum Czech Rally Zlin takes place from 26-28 August.
Cavigioli makes IRC return in Zlin
Marco Cavigioli, the winner of the inaugural IRC 2WD Cup in 2008, is
returning to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge for a shot at the
new-for-2011 IRC Production Cup.
The Italian veteran is best known for his exploits behind the wheel
of a two-wheel-drive Abarth Grande Punto. However, he will switch to a
four-wheel-drive Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX for a five
round-bid starting with next week’s Barum Czech Rally Zlin.
Cavigioli, who will be co-driven by Lorenzo Granai, will use a Lancer
supplied by GMA Racing and run by Island Motorsport. He will use
Yokohama tyres and will enjoy the support of the Cavigioli promotional
Following his outing on Barum Czech Rally Zlin, which he is entering
for a 13th time, Cavigioli will contest Mecsek Rallye, Rallye Sanremo,
RACMSA Rally of Scotland and Cyprus Rally. Swiss Subaru Impreza driver
Florian Gonon currently tops the IRC Production Cup classification.
This week’s news from www.rally-irc.com
Monday… Intercontinental Rally Challenge event winner Freddy
Loix will get back behind the wheel of a rally car today when he
contests Rally van Staden in his native Belgium. However, he will be
doing so without his regular co-driver Frederic Miclotte by his side.
Instead, the BFO-SKODA Rally Team ace, winner of June’s GEKO
Ypres Rally, will by accompanied in his Fabia Super 2000 by Evelyn
Moreels, the wife of his principal backer, the BFO boss Stefaan
Vallaeys. See the full story at www.rally-irc.com or by downloading
the IRC App for the iPhone and iPad.
Tuesday… A total of 122 crews will contest Barum Czech Rally
Zlin – round seven of the 11-event Intercontinental Rally
Challenge – later this month. The impressive entry will feature
all eight registered IRC manufacturers – Abarth, Honda, M-Sport,
Peugeot, PROTON, Ralliart, ŠKODA and Subaru – and will
also include 29 pacesetting Super 2000 cars. See the full story at
www.rally-irc.com or by downloading the IRC App for the iPhone and
Wednesday… Patrik Sandell achieved his pre-event target when
he took part on the famous CykelVasan in his native Sweden last
weekend. The Intercontinental Rally Challenge stage winner was among
4055 competitors who reached the finish of the grueling 90-kilometre
cycle ride on 13 August. He beat his personal best time by completing
the course in 3h24m12s. See the full story at www.rally-irc.com or by
downloading the IRC App for the iPhone and iPad. 

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