BFGoodrich Driver's Team: Five Rallies in 2009
Yesterday, BFGoodrich announced the five rounds of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) that will make up the calendar of the 2009 BFGoodrich Drivers Team programme. They will be this week's Rallye Monte-Carlo, the Belgium Westhoek Ypres Rally, the Barum Rally Zlin (Czech Republic), the Rallye Sanremo (Italy) and the Rally RACMSA of Scotland.
The tyre brand BFGoodrich profited from its pre-season presentation in Monaco on the eve of the 2009 Rallye Monte-Carlo to release details of this year's BFGoodrich Drivers Team programme. As in 2008, the operation will feature five rounds of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, with each event giving a driver from the country in question a chance to drive a Peugeot Super 2000 207 prepared and run by Belgium-based Kronos Racing.
BFGoodrich's Competition Director Frédéric Henry-Biabaud profited from the presentation to first of all reaffirm the reasons for the tyre brand's commitment to the IRC: "The Intercontinental Rally Challenge is an exciting and rapidly expanding series based on a calendar of prestigious rallies which permits open competition between tyre manufacturers, while the cost of competing is dialled into the championship's DNA," he underlined. "It consequently serves as an ideal framework for the BFGoodrich Drivers Team which we launched in 2008 and which was an immediate hit with competitors. For the first year, we received some 300 applications for the drives in the five countries concerned, and I believe that speaks volumes for the interest it has generated."
Frenchman Sébastien Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia have been nominated to start the ball rolling on the celebrated 'Monte'. The reigning Junior World Champions were elected earlier in the month by a panel of journalists and representatives from BFGoodrich, Kronos Racing and the FFSA (France's motor sport governing body) and were given the opportunity to test drive the Peugeot 207 Super 2000 on Friday January 16.
"It is really a fantastic opportunity to be lining up for the start of such a great event in such a strong car, and I am aware of how much I owe to BFGoodrich for turning that dream into reality," said the 25-year old driver who lives in the Alps which traditionally serve as backdrop to the winter classic.
"The 207 S2000 has a proven track record in the IRC and is a very competitive package, although it is different to the cars I have driven until now. Above all, I think the Rallye Monte-Carlo will be great experience for me, but I also think a top result is possible. Tyres and tyre choices invariably play a decisive role on this event. I am competing in the colours of BFGoodrich, so I should benefit from the excellent advice on that front!"