From IRC media [ 23/02/2008 ].
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Frenchman Nicolas Vouilloz, the winner of three rounds of the IRC last season in Turkey, the Czech Republic and Switzerland, has signed a deal with Peugeot Belgium to drive a Peugeot 207 S2000 on the 2008 series. Vouilloz will be team mates with the experienced Freddy Loix, and a third car will also be run for a different up-and-coming young driver on every event – with the backing of BFGoodrich.
The three cars will be run by the
Belgian-based Kronos team, which took Sebastien
Loeb to the 2006 World Rally Championship drivers’ title.
Vouilloz, a former 10-time downhill mountain bike champion, finished second in the IRC
series last year and also carried out a lot of the development work on the Peugeot 207
S2000. He has been linked with Peugeot from the start of his career, and will once more be
co-driven by Nicolas Klinger on this year’s IRC.
“It’s a big relief for me to get this deal sorted out, and I’d like to thank Peugeot Belgium and
all my other backers for their constant support,” said Vouilloz. “It took a little while to
organise, but I’m delighted that we’ve now got such a competitive package now.”
After such an impressive performance last year, Vouilloz will be a strong title contender in
2008. “I would never describe myself as the favourite, but I’d like to think I would be one of
the favourites,” he said. “There will be some very strong opposition. The Abarth team has a
good line-up and my own team mate, Freddy Loix, is fast and experienced. I’m sure there
will be plenty of other drivers challenging as well. This year is definitely going to be harder
than last year.”
Vouilloz will benefit from the opportunity to test his car before every round of the series this
year, together with the other Peugeot Belgium drivers.
“Time in the car definitely helps a lot,” said Vouilloz. “Last year I did quite a lot of
development testing with the 207, and that certainly helped my performance.”