An entry list of more than 100 cars, four stages live on television and more than 200,000 fans expected to line the route will make next weeks Barum Czech Rally Zlín one of the highlights of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge season.
Its a hit with the drivers too with Jan Kopecký and Andreas Mikkelsen, two of the favourites for victory on the Tarmac event, both excited by the prospect of doing battle on the high-speed stages.
There are lot of spectators and a lovely atmosphere so its really a beautiful event, said KODA UK Motorsports defending IRC champion Mikkelsen. But you need to be brave because some of the roads are bumpy in places, really fast with some narrow sections downhill in the forest.
Czech hero Kopecký, who will line up for the factory KODA team, said: The live television will make this rally really special and will give the Czech fans the chance to show they are really special. Their flags really give you the motivation to push.
This years Barum Czech Rally Zlín, which runs from 31 August-2 September, counts as round nine of the 13-event IRC season. A full preview will appear on www.ircseries.com on Friday.
Eurosports LIVE coverage of Barum Czech Rally Zlín
Saturday 1 September
10:00hrs-11:00hrs CET: SS2 Slusovice 1 (16.20 kilometres)
13:00hrs-14:00hrs CET: SS4 Slusovice 2 (16.20 kilometres)
Sunday 2 September
10:00hrs-11:00hrs CET: SS12 Majak 1 (22.80 kilometres)
13:00hrs-14:00hrs CET: SS15 Majak 2 (22.80 kilometres)
Hard working Stratieva gets ready for Czech run
Ekaterina Stratieva returns to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge on Barum Czech Rally Zlín next week determined to enjoy every centimetre of the asphalt showcase.
The Bulgarian has called on double European champion Simon Jean-Joseph to help her prepare for the event, where she will be chasing success in the IRC 2WD Cup.
For two months I dont do another race because I want to concentrate on Zlín, said Stratieva. Simon Jean-Joseph helped me a lot by telling me to be more relaxed and enjoy every centimetre that I drive. I am in love with the stages on this rally, very hard and technical. All the time you must have very good concentration. I hope we will get a good result.
Stratieva and co-driver Carmen Poenaru are one of three all-female crews competing in Czech Republic.
Veteran Triner to do it for the fans on Zlín return
Czech rallying legend Emil Triner will back in action on Barum Czech Rally Zlín after a six-year absence next week in a car that he has always wanted to drive.
The 51-year-old former KODA factory ace will pilot a Fabia Super 2000 in competition for the first time on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge round from 31 August-2 September.
He said: To drive this car I yearned all the time and everyone who has chance to drive this car has good results and speaks about it in superlatives. It will be a really demanding rally for me so it would be nice to see the finish. Most of all I dont want to crash the car but I certainly dont want to disappoint my supporters.
Peugeot plans Sanremo trial for 208 R2
Fans attending Rallye Sanremo, the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in Italy in October, will get the chance to see Peugeot Sports R2-specification 208 being put through its paces.
There is no confirmation on who will drive the car but Peugeot will use the famous asphalt rally as part of an ongoing development programme, which continued when IRC frontrunner Craig Breen drove a 208 R2 on International Rally Northern Ireland, a round of the British championship, as a course car recently.
It was great to drive the car on this event and I would like to thank everyone at Peugeot Sport for the amazing work they have put in since last January, said Breen. Its a fantastic car which I would have loved to have had for my debut in the sport. Its the perfect customer-spec car.
Stéphane Sarrazin gave the Peugeot 208 R2 its first public airing on Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse back in May.
Three questions to: Jan Kopecký
Age: 30 Lives: Czech Republic
Czech hero on summer holidays and winning at home
Its been a few months since your last IRC appearance. What have you been up to?
I had one week holidays in the south of Czech Republic. We were riding our bikes for four days and it was really nice. Ive also done a few rallies including a classic rally in Germany in an old KODA.
What was that like a bit slower than what you are used to?
Well the main thing was not to be as fast as possible but to be as precise as possible. One stage was 100 metres long and the gap between the first 20 cars was 0.06s. It was a nice event to do.
And looking ahead to next weeks Barum Czech Rally Zlín, what result can you achieve?
I will try to go as fast as possible but its not going to be easy because I have to think about the Czech championship and getting the points for that and not taking big risks to win the rally.
In the spotlight: Robert Consani
With a total of three IRC starts under his belt prior to 2012, Frenchman Consani will enter the majority of the 13-round IRC series this year, using a Renault Mégane RS on asphalt events and a Clio R3 on gravel due to the former not being homologated for loose-surface competition. Consani is eligible for the IRC 2WD Cup and IRC Production Cup when hes on board his Mégane and is excelling in both divisions.