* IRC's top eight drivers lead star-studded entry * Massive home support expected for Alister McRae & David Bogie
Next month's RACMSA Rally of Scotland (7-9 October) has attracted one of theIntercontinental Rally Challenge's most exciting entry lists of 2011 withthe top eight drivers in the current championship standings plus home heroesAlister McRae (pictured) and David Bogie all set for a high-speed battle onthe star-studded event.A record 38 international entries - 26 of those in the IRC's top car class -from 17 different countries have registered so far for the event. Among themare the top eight drivers in the current IRC standings.This year's Rally of Scotland is the penultimate round of the high-profileIRC that this weekend is in action in Sanremo, Italy. Two weeks later theglobetrotting series will arrive in Scotland for its only UK round of 2011with spectacular high-speed action on daunting gravel surface stages throughthe forests of Perthshire and Stirlingshire. The event is recognised as oneof Scotland's top international sporting weekends of the year and, with oneand a half times normal championship points on offer, it could prove pivotalin the IRC title battle.Starting from Stirling Castle on the Friday (7 Oct) and finishing at SconePalace on the Sunday (9 Oct), the event's route will total more than 1000kilometres - 800 of those will be on main public highways throughsurrounding towns and villages as some of the world's top rally drivers andcars share the roads with everyday motorists and their vehicles while enroute to timed competitive stages in nearby forests. Throughout both Fridayand Saturday and overnight into Sunday, all cars will be held and worked onby the teams at the event's Central Service Park at Perth Airport.Reigning champion Skoda will have a major presence with 11 of its mightyFabia S2000s entered - among them are those being driven by the CzechRepublic's Jan Kopecký, Belgium's Freddy Loix and Finland's Juho Hanninen,the current top three in the IRC standings. Hanninen won last year's Rallyof Scotland and is the defending IRC Champion. Furthermore, Norwegian aceAndreas Mikkelsen, runner-up in Scotland 12 months ago, is also in hisregular Skoda UK Motorsport Fabia S2000 (Skoda UK has just confirmed it willbe the event's Official Vehicle Supplier for a third consecutive year).Rival Peugeot's hopes lay with Britain's top IRC driver Guy Wilks fromDarlington - currently seventh in the IRC standings and who won 2009's eventin Scotland - as well as France's Bryan Bouffier and Belgium's ThierryNeuville, winners earlier this year in Monte Carlo and Corsica respectively.Lanark's McRae (pictured on 2010's event) will handle the Proton which hehas driven to huge success on the Asia-Pacific rallying scene.Dumfries-based Bogie, recently crowned the 2011 Scottish Rally Champion andalso currently leading the MSA British Championship, will be in his faithfulMitsubishi. Both can expect huge support from the partisan Scottish crowdsout on the stages.In addition, highly professional crews representing Ford, Subaru, Citroen,Renault and Honda are also on the entry list.Andrew Coe, Chief Executive of International Motor Sports which organisesthe Rally of Scotland, commented: "We are delighted to have attracted such aphenomenal line-up of teams, drivers and cars. This is fantastic news forall of our partners, the many local motor clubs and volunteer marshals andofficials who play such a vital role in the smooth running of the event. Andof course for the thousands of public - be they die-hard fans of the sportor casual observers - who will be attending the weekend."
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland, added: "Thisyear's impressive line-up of drivers clearly shows how highly regarded theRally of Scotland is by the professionals. It's an endorsement of Scotland'scredentials as the perfect stage for international rallying for drivers,spectators and also the many thousands of people who will watch thisimpressive competition on TV around the world."Adding to the action on Rally of Scotland, 25 entries have been received forthe supporting National event that will follow hot on the heels of the IRC'sstars on Saturday's and Sunday's stages and which represents an opportunityfor many club-level crews from across the UK to shine on an internationalstage.After its Ceremonial Start from Stirling Castle on the Friday (7 Oct), thisyear's Rally of Scotland heads straight into its first two competitive timedstages in the dark of Carron Valley on the Stirlingshire-North Lanarkshireborder. The Saturday (8 Oct) sees classic stages in Perthshire such asCraigvinean, Drummond Hill and Errochty all run twice. The Sunday (9 Oct)sees the drivers return to Carron Valley before two more new tests inStirlingshire, Loch Chon and the hugely challenging 26km High Corrie - eachwill be run twice. They will then head back into Perthshire for the event'sfinal two stages and Ceremonial Finish in the majestic grounds of SconePalace.Admission is £20 per public vehicle per stage with the exception of Sundaymorning's Carron Valley stage which is £10 per vehicle.For Rally of Scotland stage locations and start times during its three days(7-9 Oct) see the Spectator section on the official www.rallyofscotland.comhttp://e2ma.net/go/10742569728/3921741/109846337/39938/b64/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5yYWxseW9mc2NvdGxhbmQuY29tLw==> website. The site's homepage also provides ataste of what is in store in just over two weeks' time with a short,dramatic video - compiled by IRC broadcaster and promoter Eurosport - of2010's Rally of Scotland.Official Entry List: 2011 RACMSA Rally of Scotland
No., Driver (NAT), Car (Category)1. Bryan Bouffier (FRA), Peugeot 207 2000 (IRC) 2. Jan Kopecký (CZE), SkodaFabia S2000 (IRC) 3. Freddy Loix (BEL), Skoda Fabia S2000 (IRC) 4. ThierryNeuville (BEL), Peugeot 207 S2000 (IRC) 5. Juho Hanninen (FIN), Skoda FabiaS2000 (IRC) 6. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR), Skoda Fabia S2000 (IRC) 7. Guy Wilks(GBR), Peugeot 207 S2000 (IRC) 8. Per-Gunnar Andersson (SWE), Proton SatriaNeo S2000 (IRC) 9. Alister McRae (GBR), Proton Satria Neo S2000 (IRC) 10.Toshihiro Arai (JPN), Subaru Impreza (IRC) 11. David Bogie (GBR), MitsubishiLancer Evolution IX (IRC) 12. Toni Gardemeister (FIN), Skoda Fabia S2000(IRC) 14. Karl Kruuda (EST), Skoda Fabia S2000 (IRC) 15. Patrick Sandell(SWE), Skoda Fabia S2000 (IRC) 16. Jarkko Nikara (FIN), Mitsubishi LancerEvolution IX (IRC) 17. Craig Breen (IRL), Ford Fiesta S2000 (IRC) 18. RobertBarrable (IRL), Skoda Fabia S2000 (IRC) 19. Alastair Fisher (GBR), FordFiesta S2000 (IRC) 20. Jonny Greer (GBR), Skoda Fabia S2000 (IRC) 21.Matthias Kahle (DEU), Skoda Fabia S2000 (IRC) 22. Marco Cavigioli (ITA),Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX (IRC) 23. Fumio Nutahara (JPN), SubaruImpreza (IRC) 24. Jason Pritchard (GBR), Subaru Impreza (IRC) 25. BurcuÇetinkaya (TUR), Skoda Fabia S2000 (IRC) 26. Arman Smailov (KAZ), SubaruImpreza (IRC) 27. Euan Thorburn (GBR), Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX (IRC)28. Jean-Michael Raoux (FRA), Renault Clio (IRC 2WD) 29. János Puskádi(HUN), Honda Civic Type R (IRC 2WD) 30. Martin Kangur (EST), Honda CivicType R (IRC 2WD) 31. Harry Hunt (GBR), Citroen DS3 (IRC 2WD) 32. MarkDonnelly (GBR), Renault Clio (IRC 2WD) 33. Peter Taylor (GBR), Renault Clio(IRC 2WD) 34. John MacCrone (GBR), Ford Fiesta (IRC 2WD) 35. Molly Taylor(AUS), Ford Fiesta R2 (IRC 2WD) 36. Alex Laffey (GBR), Ford Fiesta R2 (IRC2WD) 37. Tony Jardine (GBR), Ford Fiesta R2 (IRC 2WD) 38. Ruary Mcleod(GBR), Ford Fiesta R2 (IRC 2WD) 39. Graeme Schoneville (GBR), Honda CivicType R (IRC 2WD)