Peugeot UK heads to Monte Carlo for round 1 of the IRC
The 2010 Monte Carlo rally is the first round of this year’s Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) and is perhaps the most famous rally there is, whether you are an ardent rally fan or just a motoring enthusiast.
This year is the seventy eighth running of the Monte Carlo rally which starts on Tuesday 19 January, with a single super special stage and finishes in Monte Carlo in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Last year, Peugeot dominated the rally by occupying all three top positions with its Peugeot 207 S2000, based on its road-going 207 hatchback. This year, however, the competition will be even fiercer with a total of eight manufacturers contesting the 2010 IRC – Peugeot, Ford, Fiat Abarth, Honda, Skoda, Subaru, Proton and Ralliart (Mitsubishi). It is a result of the strong support from the many different manufacturers and the extensive TV coverage provided by Eurosport that the IRC is now the chosen rally series of the Monte Carlo Rally organisers, instead of the World Rally Championship.
This year will also see Britain’s top two rally drivers go head to head over the 405 kms of the 15 special stages. Kris Meeke, 2009 IRC Drivers’ Champion, driving his Peugeot UK supported Peugeot 207 S2000 will take on Skoda UK supported Guy Wilks, twice British Rally champion in his Skoda Fabia S2000. It was seven years ago that two top British drivers were last battling on the Monte Carlo rally and their names were Colin McRae and Richard Burns.
Kris partnered again by co-driver Paul Nagle will start the rally as favourite after he dominated the IRC last year, winning four rounds on his way to winning the Drivers’ Championship and helping Peugeot secure its third consecutive Manufacturers’ title.
Unprecedented TV coverage provided by Eurosport will see all but one of the special stages screened live, enabling fans to see all the action, as it happens. Four live stages on Wednesday, six on Thursday and four on Friday can be found on Eurosport and Eurosport 2.
Fifteen special stages, 405 kms, snow and ice covered roads mixed with normal tarmac and three days of competitive rallying lie in front of the eventual winner of this year’s Monte Carlo Rally.
This year, after a full season in the IRC, Kris and Paul will be one of the favourites to win the rally and having tested extensively in snow and ice conditions, they cannot wait to get started!