McRae set to lead RallyScotland chargeposted in RSCOT11 | 08 | 2010

    A SCOTSMAN, an Englishman and an Irishman are expected to be the big attractions in the second running of RallyScotland after entries opened for the three-day event on October 15-17.

    While Lanark’s Alister McRae will enjoy the full backing of a massive home support in his Proton Satria S2000, there will also be support for the Skoda of Darlington’s Guy Wilks who won the inaugural rally last year.

    “It’s shaping up to be one of the most exciting international rallies to be held in Britain in the past decade”

    The Perth-based RallyScotland will form the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Championship, won in dominant fashion last year by Kris Meeke and the Irishman will again return to the Scottish forest stages in his Peugeot.

    The IRC’s seven events to date – in Monte Carlo, Brazil, Greece, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Portugal – have produced six different winners with each of the front-running names having suffered at least one non-score along the way. That’s left the title race wide open and with each driver’s end-of-season total made up from their best seven scores out of the 12 rallies on the schedule, this year’s RallyScotland could well prove pivotal in the outcome of the championship.

    "We're expecting the full IRC field of drivers"

    “It’s shaping up to be one of the most exciting international rallies to be held in Britain in the past decade,” Clerk of the Course, Invernessian Iain Campbell, said. “In addition to the top three Brits, we’re expecting the full field of IRC international drivers.

    “We could end up with 15 or more crews genuinely fighting it out for the victory. World class drivers like Juho Hanninen, Jan Kopecky and Bruno Magalhaes will thrill the bumper Scots crowds out in the forests. There’s no question it will be the highest-class field assembled in Scotland for years.”

    Meeke currently lies fifth in the championship, 25 points behind the Skoda of Hanninen, after a couple of big crashes in the past three events and knows he essentially needs to win the final five rounds if he is to retain his crown.

    “Twenty-five points may sound a lot, but our end-of-season total is made up from our best seven scores out of the 12 rallies,” Meeke explained, “so it’s still doable; but it’s going to be tough. But I can’t wait to get back out into the Scottish forest stages. They’re the best in the world.”

    Jim McGill

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