From IRC media [ 15/02/2008 ].
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The IRC will host a two-wheel drive cup this season, in order to reward participants who choose to compete on the series in two-wheel drive cars.This initiative has come about to provide greater recognition for manufacturers of two-wheel drive cars within the IRC series, some of whom already compete with a Super 2000 car.
Nonetheless, two-wheel drive machinery has been able to fight on equal terms with four-wheel drive cars on several occasions throughout the season last year. The two-wheel drive competitors have been particularly strong on asphalt, with Luca Betti finishing fifth overall on the Rallye du Valais in Switzerland at the wheel of the Honda Civic Type R R3 (pictured). Two-wheel drive cars make up a sizeable proportion of the entry list on the majority of IRC events, regularly finishing in the points.
Jacques Behar – the President of IRC series promoter Eurosport Events – commented: “The decision to host the ‘IRC 2WD Cup’ this year follows on from the requests of several of our competitors. We are extremely happy to oblige, in line with our philosophy of putting our participants first and maximising sporting opportunities for everybody. The ‘IRC 2WD Cup’ will become a prestigious competition within the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, rightly recognising the efforts of those teams and drivers who compete in two-wheel drive cars – whether they are private entries or manufacturer-backed squads. The establishment of the new Cup is sure to add yet another thrilling dimension to the IRC this year.”
The latest IRC sporting regulations are now available, containing full details of the ‘IRC 2WD Cup’. At the end of every event, a classification of the two-wheel drive runners will be drawn up from the general classification and the standard FIA points system (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1) will be applied for drivers, co-drivers and manufacturers. This will lead to a two-wheel drive overall classification at the end of the year, the winners of which will receive the ‘IRC 2WD Cup’. Prizes will also be presented to those finishing second and third in the two-wheel drive classifications.
The ‘IRC 2WD Cup’ will operate on all 10 rounds of the IRC this year, with the best seven scores from every competitor counting towards the final classification – as is the case in the main IRC series. The two-wheel drive prizes will be presented at the end of every event, with the Cup itself being awarded at the official end of year IRC prize-giving ceremony.