Honda aims to fly again in Scotland

Honda aims to fly again in ScotlandFrom Honda J.A.S. Press [ 13/10/2010 ].
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The Honda Civic Type R will return to the scene of one of its greatest triumphs, with two front-running cars entering the Rally of Scotland: the 11th and penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

Last year, Estonian driver Kaspar Koitla pulled off a stunning result by finishing fifth overall in his Civic Type R, equalling the car's best-ever IRC result. This time, another Estonian is coming to Scotland in a Honda to defend national honour: Siim Plangi, co-driven by Marek Saarapuu.

The Honda Civic Type R R3 crew will be aiming firmly for victory in the two-wheel drive category, similar to the class win achieved by Sandro Sottile on the Civic's last IRC outing on the Sanremo Rally in Italy three weeks ago.

In addition to the Estonians, the local crew of Colin Smith and Craig Chapman will be out on home territory in their Gr N Civic Type R, having claimed second in the two-wheel drive standings last year along with 13th overall.

The Honda Civic Type R R3 is built by JAS Motorsport in Italy: Honda's long-time motorsport partner with a pedigree that extends from touring cars to rallying. In order to support Plangi and Smith, JAS will provide customer assistance, know-how and spare parts in the Rally of Scotland service area: all part of the package for those belonging to the Honda family.

The Honda's powerful engine, and the Civic's sharp handling should give the two intrepid crews every chance of success in Scotland. Television viewers all over the world will have the chance to follow the progress of the Honda drivers on the event, as Eurosport will broadcast live from the stages.

But as usual, the Rally of Scotland is set to be one of the most difficult rounds of the year, thanks to its rapid gravel stages and frequently inclement weather conditions. The challenging route covers nearly 200 competitive kilometres over 12 stages, including a showpiece superspecial stage run through the grounds of the historic Scone Palace, where the kings of Scotland were traditionally crowned.

JAS Motorsport team principal Alessandro Mariani commented: "Following our success on the Sanremo Rally recently and after a strong showing in Scotland last year, we are all looking forward to this year's Scottish adventure. The stages here are a really big test for drivers and cars, because they require complete commitment as well as the versatility to cope with rapidly changing conditions. In the past we've seen that tricky conditions suit us very well, so we're obviously hoping that this will be the case once more."

The Rally of Scotland gets underway from Perth on Friday 15 October at 1950, with two superspecial stages. Saturday 16 October contains six more stages with service at Perth. Sunday 17 October hosts four more stages before the rally finishes at 1504 outside Stirling Castle in the centre of the town of Stirling.