IRC teams & drivers 2011

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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby ChrisB » 06 Dec 2010 12:58

Niall McShea could also be a possibility. Not sure about his performance in Barum though, in San Remo he never had a chance to show anything. And also not sure about Chris Atkinson with all the asphalt. Still, very interesting driver line up all round for Proton!

Also I can confirm Magalhaes does have an IRC program again. We should see Wilks-Neuville-Magalhaes for Peugeot on most IRC rounds.

RonSkoda wrote:Meanwhile Peugeot at least pulled something out of the bag for Monte where Petter Solberg will drive for "Peugeot France"

Shows it was nothing but the talk of a bad loser. All political talk, nothing else, only damaging the IRC. Peugeot says Petter will drive for Peugeot France, but Petter says here (and on his web site):

http://peugeot.rallye-info.com/article. ... &stid=9102

that Olivier Quesnel himself had asked him, and "The manufacturer team will run the car". I hope Skoda will complain about that!
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby RonSkoda » 07 Dec 2010 15:06

ChrisB wrote:Building new cars, as in additional ones. Currently the team has only 4 cars available, which all have had heavy use last year. Nevertheless development is constantly ongoing, improvement in all areas. The one big problem I see is they are still stuck with that Renault engine for the time being, and that to me seems very much down on power as well as unreliable, so it is not quite clear in which direction to go with that engine.


They won't be able to change that engine now though, only develop it if possible. I think they at least cured the problems they had in Ypres? McShea reckoned the engine wasn't down on power. Maybe top end power is ok but torque and driveability is lacking compared to the oppositon?
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby ChrisB » 07 Dec 2010 19:14

RonSkoda wrote:They won't be able to change that engine now though, only develop it if possible. I think they at least cured the problems they had in Ypres? McShea reckoned the engine wasn't down on power. Maybe top end power is ok but torque and driveability is lacking compared to the oppositon?

That is corredct, Ron. Engine can only be changed to a 1.6T from basically now on. It is quite a rules curiosity, actually. With a 1.6T they can't do IRC 2011, and the 2.0 atmo (or another 2.0) they can't have a new homologation from now. Which is why IRC has to change to cars similar to WRC from 2012 latest. MEM is doing and has already done development on the current engine.

I am not sure if the Ypres problems are cured. They had several engine problems since. Even McShea retiring on the road section before the 1st stage in San Remo. Hope it is not all different problems, because that would make it even harder getting anywhere with that engine.

I am surprised McShea says the engine isn't down on power. In Barum I stood maybe 150-200 meters behind the start of the stage, and the Protons were visibly down on power. I would honestly say they were like S1600 cars, definitely not even in the same league as any of the other S2000s. Coming back and cornering they were absolutely good, but accelerating from the tight bend near start finish onto the long straight, again they seem to lack. Most visibly from standing start of course. That is in fact why I was so amazed and have quite some faith in Keith Cronin. I would say at the start line the Protons lose already 2-3 secs all the S2000 oposition. Yet once he got his hands in, Cronin was 5th in SS6, 3.7s off the pace, 7th in SS7, 11.3s off the pace, if he lost 3secs at the starts with the car visibly down on power, then in his driving he was bang on the pace to everyone!
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby RonSkoda » 14 Dec 2010 13:39

ChrisB wrote:
RonSkoda wrote:They won't be able to change that engine now though, only develop it if possible. I think they at least cured the problems they had in Ypres? McShea reckoned the engine wasn't down on power. Maybe top end power is ok but torque and driveability is lacking compared to the oppositon?

That is corredct, Ron. Engine can only be changed to a 1.6T from basically now on. It is quite a rules curiosity, actually. With a 1.6T they can't do IRC 2011, and the 2.0 atmo (or another 2.0) they can't have a new homologation from now. Which is why IRC has to change to cars similar to WRC from 2012 latest. MEM is doing and has already done development on the current engine.


Actually I think the "Superproduction" cars aren't allowed in any non WRC Championship next year, so it would be hard for IRC to allow them yet even if they were homologated and ready to go. I'm not sure if that is a step Proton are going to want to make. There is very little difference between a Superproduction car and a new WRC, which means they will be a lot more expensive than their current car. Maybe they will be tempted if they have a better 2011.

I am surprised McShea says the engine isn't down on power. In Barum I stood maybe 150-200 meters behind the start of the stage, and the Protons were visibly down on power. I would honestly say they were like S1600 cars, definitely not even in the same league as any of the other S2000s. Coming back and cornering they were absolutely good, but accelerating from the tight bend near start finish onto the long straight, again they seem to lack. Most visibly from standing start of course. That is in fact why I was so amazed and have quite some faith in Keith Cronin. I would say at the start line the Protons lose already 2-3 secs all the S2000 oposition. Yet once he got his hands in, Cronin was 5th in SS6, 3.7s off the pace, 7th in SS7, 11.3s off the pace, if he lost 3secs at the starts with the car visibly down on power, then in his driving he was bang on the pace to everyone!


Wouldn't that observation say more about the torque and driveability though than the top end power? Whichever way it's clear the engine isn't overall on a par with the top cars.

Regarding 2.0 S2000 cars, developments are still allowed but totally new homologations are not. So there is some hope for Proton. On the other hand the other teams won't stop developing; Skoda also have a new step coming on the engine for Monte.
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby RonSkoda » 18 Dec 2010 14:58

Sounds like Proton have quite a big step on the engine coming: http://www.maxrally.com/news/entry/ande ... oton_test/
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby Sulland » 18 Dec 2010 20:10

About time - they need more drivability, more rally- and less racing-engine - the powerband is very narrow, and on and off - they need a flatter curve !

Are MEM the firm, or do they need help in reaching there ?
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby RonSkoda » 04 Feb 2011 16:19

Patrik Sandell is moving to IRC this year for the greater competition than sWRC, also means Red Bull come to IRC as a sponsor, here is his car (which I really like!)

Also, he has a new co-driver... Steffan Parmandar, former navigator of Kenneth Eriksson.

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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby ewanr » 04 Feb 2011 17:26

Good to see Sandell in IRC.Interesting choice of events too;Corsica,Prime Yalta,Ypres,Azores,Barum,Scotland and Cyprus.With only 7 events i suppose it would hav been daft to exclude the 2 rounds with points coefficients. However i was wondering what surface does Sandell prefer and is he a series title contender?
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby RonSkoda » 04 Feb 2011 18:31

ewanr wrote:Good to see Sandell in IRC.Interesting choice of events too;Corsica,Prime Yalta,Ypres,Azores,Barum,Scotland and Cyprus.With only 7 events i suppose it would hav been daft to exclude the 2 rounds with points coefficients. However i was wondering what surface does Sandell prefer and is he a series title contender?


I am sure Patrik prefers gravel but he is capable on asphalt too. I would say he could be competitive on some events but is unlikely to be a title contendor.
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby ewanr » 04 Feb 2011 18:56

none the less he will really help skoda in manufacturers title- Kopecky,Loix,Mikelson,Sandell and now with Hanninen getting an expanded programme too peugeot are in trouble !
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby RonSkoda » 05 Feb 2011 14:11

ewanr wrote:none the less he will really help skoda in manufacturers title- Kopecky,Loix,Mikelson,Sandell and now with Hanninen getting an expanded programme too peugeot are in trouble !


There are plenty of good drivers Peugeot could emply. I imagine we will see more of Petter, Sarrazin and maybe Raikkonen this year too.
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby ChrisB » 05 Feb 2011 22:15

Interesting talk (and hi Ewan, haven’t seen you here for a while?)

I must say I found Sandell a bit disappointing when he did PWRC in the Peugeot S2000 and with the Skoda in SWRC he wasn’t much better. Since I believe the IRC competition is much stronger, I really have doubts Sandell is a title candidate or even a podium finisher except maybe the events with weak entry. Hence I don’t think he is able to help Skoda much with the title, not with guys like Kopecky, Loix and occasionally Hänninen in the team. Maybe he is up with Mikkelsen, but even that I doubt. Maybe he will surprise me.

Yet tghis is where it becomes interesting. Loix in a Skoda Belgium car, although on Monte with CZ plates. Hänninen in an Austrian RBR car. Funniest maybe Mikkelsen in a Skoda UK entry, Italioan run and German (Monte CZ) registered car, but it seems the brains behind this deal was Mlada Boleslav. Now an extended program for Hänninen. Sandell in a Skoda Sweden supported, Czech run and Slovakian (CZ neighbours) registered car. It seems Quesnel has shaken a bee hive with his Skoda works teams comments. It is basically the same team and even more drivers as last year, but he can’t complain about works team. And every time Quesnel opens his mouth the bee hive opens and some more drivers with odd importers / reg plates combinations appear and crush Peugeot a little more. Maybe Valousek already has a Norwegian flag on his bonnet and a British reg plate on his car and waits for the next time Quesnel opens his mouth? I somehow can’t help laughing my head off. In fact there are good chances we see Matthias Kahle in a Skoda German painted but CZ registered machine in IRC this year too.

On Peugeot, Petter is in fact a strong possibility. Sarrazin unlikely, it would be Bouffier. Räikkönen, maybe, but I don’t see him scaring the Skodas.

For Petter and also Sandell it is noteworthy that – even though I prefer asphalt – the IRC has a very odd bias this year. Maybe Sandell entered GB & Cyprus for the coefficients, but I also think gravel is Sandell’s stronger surface and there are onyl 3 gravel rounds all season. Mind you, he won SWRC on both the asphalt rounds SWRC had in 2010!
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby ewanr » 07 Feb 2011 18:26

Hi Chris- totally agree with ur post. Quesnels moaning has only led to Skoda becoming stronger but he will quieten down now for a while after the strong result in Monte.

Anyway, the battle for the title does look like it could be a close one to call, If Hanninen gets a decent programme of events on top of the coefficients events that hes definetly entering i can see him retaining the championship as the speed he showed in Monte was frightening . However maybe Skoda might just elect to use Hanninen to help in manufacturer's or aid kopeckys push for the title if hes involved .Elsewhere there really isn't a great deal between Loix,Miklelson,Kopecky,Bouffier and Wilks so i feel it could come down to whoever has biggest programme of events . Take loix for example - hes a good chance of winning quite a few of his planned 7 tarmac events but then u could hav wilks who is very consistent getting 3rds, 4ths or 5ths throughout the season and then when loix is absent in say scotland ,wilks has great chance to win and score 37.5 pts. Just dont see wilks having that raw pace to win any other event tho.
Then we hav Sandell, Magalhaes-who could win portuguese events- and Neuville who should all hav a good scrap in championship . And last but not least the pair of Protons.PG in one and Basso strongly linked to other seat.Really good drivers but once again its all about how much progress has been made with the car. Wouldnt it be great for the IRC if they were just more competitive!
Let me know ur views on title fight guys
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby RonSkoda » 08 Mar 2011 08:39

Gardemeister confirms eight event IRC programme with Hankook and Skoda: http://skoda.rallye-info.com/article.as ... &stid=9179
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby RonSkoda » 10 Mar 2011 15:08

Subaru for IRC with new R4 Impreza, drivers Toshi Arai and Fumio Nutahara: http://translate.google.co.uk/translate ... =&ie=UTF-8
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby RonSkoda » 24 Mar 2011 20:35

Basso with Proton seems a done deal, 5 or 6 events. Great news!: http://www.autosport.cz/clanek.php?cl=11936
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby ChrisB » 26 Mar 2011 17:58

Basso is confirmed at Proton! He does all rallies (6) except Corsica and the gravel rounds. So asphalt only for Basso, meaning for Acores, RAC and if they start Cyprus there is still room for another driver alongside PG. That other driver may also be able to do a couple more rallies in a 3rd car.
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby RonSkoda » 29 Mar 2011 18:28

Strange they don't send Basso to Corsica although I wonder if they might use Atkinson for there as he has quite a lot of experience on that island.
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby ChrisB » 30 Mar 2011 01:30

I think Proton are (sadly for this classic event) not doing Corsica at all, as it clashes with the Green Party Rally, sorry the Australia Queensland Rally, APRC round2
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Re: IRC teams & drivers 2011

Postby RonSkoda » 30 Mar 2011 09:09

ChrisB wrote:I think Proton are (sadly for this classic event) not doing Corsica at all, as it clashes with the Green Party Rally, sorry the Australia Queensland Rally, APRC round2


Ahh, ok. I also expect the entry list to be strong for Corsica and therefore more difficult than usual for the Proton boys to get points.
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