BFGoodrich wins the 2008 Two-Wheel Drive Cup CHINA RALLY - Intercontinental Rally Challenge (round 10 of 10)
With the 2008 IRC's Manufacturers' and Drivers' crowns safely in the hands of Peugeot and Nicolas Vouilloz, one last trophy remained to be settled on the final round of the calendar in China, where Italy's Marco Cavigioli (Fiat Punto/BFGoodrich) succeeded in claiming the newly created Two-Wheel Drive Cup in association with BFGoodrich.
The Intercontinental Rally Challenge's inaugural Two-Wheel Drive Cup was marked by a close fight between two Italian drivers who were on opposite sides of the planet for the competition's final showdown in China. Marco Cavigioli made the trip out to Asia, but his rival Alessandro Bettega, who took the lead thanks to his win on the Rallye Sanremo, chose to skip the trip out to Shaowu, in the south of the country, for the last round of the season.
Driving his diesel-powered Fiat Punto equipped with BFGoodrich g-Force Gravel tyres, Marco Cavigioli needed to finish inside the category's top-four to clinch the cup and, following a cautious start, he managed to hold onto third place to wrap of the series.
With BFGoodrich's usual Intercontinental Rally Challenge partners also preferring not to make the long-haul journey out to China, overall victory ended up going to Finland's Jarkko Mietinen (Mitsubishi). Fellow Finn Juha Salo (Mitsubishi) led up to the final stage but was sidelined by mechanical trouble with the finish in sight.
Mitsubishi Lancer drivers dominated the all-gravel event, with two Chinese Mitsubishi drivers joining Jarkko Mietinen on the podium in Shaowu.
China Rally - final positions:
1 Mietinen/Lukka (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), 2h 0m 23.9s
2 Caodong/Hongyu (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), +5m 41.9s
3 Jun/Sheng (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), +7m 52.0s
Two-Wheel Drive Cup - final positions:
DRIVERS (best seven results):
1, M. Cavigioli (21 points). 2, A. Bettega (18). 3, Y. Avci (14). Etc.
1, Peugeot (86 points). 2, Honda (74). 3, Fiat (70). 4, Volkswagen (17).