Defending Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion Andreas Mikkelsen will swap his rally boots for a pair of running shoes when he takes part in the Oslo Marathon on Saturday.
Mikkelsen regularly runs half-marathon distances during his extensive training programme for his IRC campaign but has yet to run a full marathon. Despite his reputation as a super-fit driver, the 23-year-old fears hes behind with his preparations for the event in Norways capital.
Im far, far behind schedule training for my first marathon, admits the KODA UK Motorsport driver. It was a last-minute decision I only discovered I was running the week before Barum Czech Rally Zlín, so that gave me less than one month to prepare.
My housemate, Anders, did the Oslo Marathon last year, so my main goal is to try to beat his time. He finished in just under four hours, so I have an aim of three hours 45 minutes but that will be tough because of the limited amount of training Ive done. I am in training all the time of course, but not for marathons.
New name, logo for Sliven Rally
Sliven Rally organisers have confirmed a new event name and tweaked logo for their first appearance in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge next week.
Following an exciting sponsorship agreement with Mabanol, which specialises in premium lubricants for premium performance in the automotive and industrial sectors, the event will now be known as the Mabanol Sliven Rally, while the event logo has been adjusted to incorporate the companys key involvement in the all-asphalt contest from 28-30 September.
The IRC Sliven Rally is the most significant event in Bulgarian motorsport, said Alexander Alexandrov, Managing Director of Oiltanking Bulgaria AD. As Mabanol always strives for best quality and performance of its products, as well positioning them among best performing cars and rally pilots, we feel there is a great level of synergy between what Eurosport Events and the IRC is doing for motorsport and its fans Mabanol is doing for its customers.
Flodin tries circuit racing for size
Patrik Flodin switched from his regular Petter Solberg Engineering-run M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000 to take part in the Camaro Cup motor racing series in his native Sweden recently.
Flodin is keen to build his experience of driving on Tarmac and a circuit race represents ideal preparation for his Intercontinental Rally Challenge campaign.
After retiring from his opening heat at Knutstorp following a collision with rival Freddie Magnusson, Flodin took the chequered flag in the next heat in 10th place. It was just for fun, said Flodin. It was really just the beginning and it was good experience.
Flodins best result in the IRC remains the second place he recorded on the Sibiu Rally in Romania.
Kangur back in action for Honda in Sliven
Martin Kangur will return to the IRC 2WD Cup on the Mabanol Sliven Rally in Bulgaria next week.
Kangur, from Estonia, skipped last weeks trip to Ukraine for the Prime Yalta Rally but will be back in action in Bulgaria which is hosting a round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge for the first time in his Catwees Honda Racing Civic Type R.
Despite Kangurs absence in Ukraine, Honda still managed a strong haul of points in the IRC 2WD Cup with local heroes Oleksiy Panov and Olexandr Yukushev finishing fifth in the two-wheel-drive category and claiming 15 IRC 2WD Cup manufacturers points.
Three questions to: Yağiz Avci
Prime Yalta Rally winner on making it big in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge
Its fair to say you havent done many rallies on Tarmac during your career, right?
We have very little experience of driving on Tarmac, rallies in Turkey are on gravel and the stages in Yalta very long and rough and it was difficult to protect your car while keeping a good pace.
What did winning the Prime Yalta Rally your first in the IRC mean to you?
Winning has been very special for us, especially because this is my first time in Yalta and I found it a very difficult event. Our main aim was to make no mistakes here. We have had no problems with the car and the tyres have been fine also. My team has done a fantastic job. We hope to come back next year and improve on our stage times.
How much did you enjoy your first Prime Yalta Rally experience?
I was surprised by the number of fans on the stages and there has been a lot of support in the service park too. The atmosphere in the centre is nice and it has been a very well organised rally.
In the spotlight: Harry Hunt
Having recently turned 24, Londoner Hunt has been a regular in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge since 2010 when he won the IRC 2WD Cup in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta R2. Hes now competing in a Citroën DS3 R3T for Iwan Evans iCars Motorsport team and impressing alongside co-driver and fellow Brit Robbie Durant with regular strong results