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Tyre manufacturer BFGoodrich and the Belgium-based Kronos team have teamed up in order to give promising young drivers the chance to compete on their home rounds of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge this year.
 
On all the 2008 season IRC rallies it contests, Kronos will run a full specification Peugeot 207 Super 2000 for a guest driver, as well as the regular driver line-up (which includes Freddy Loix).

The guest drivers will be selected after close consultation with the national motor sport governing bodies of the countries concerned. From a list of potential candidates, BFGoodrich and Kronos will ask the country’s media to nominate a driver to take part in the rally.

Before the start of the event, the crew will have a full test session in order to acquaint themselves with the Super 2000 Peugeot.

The initiative will be known as ‘the BFGoodrich Drivers’ Team’, and it is the first of its kind in the IRC series. Traditionally, it has been hard for young rally drivers to climb the motorsport ladder – but this latest scheme should help generate talent for the future and also encourage plenty of local interest on every event.

Frederic-Henry Biabaud, the Michelin Group’s competitions director, said: “This operation marks a strong commitment from BFGoodrich, whose quality tyres have shown that they represent a ‘plus’ both in rallying and rally raids.”

BFGoodrich will also back the ‘IRC Supporter BFGoodrich Challenge’, designed to reward the highest-placed drivers on the official IRC Supporter events next year.

“The aim of this is to support those rally organisers who are interested in the IRC,” added Biabaud. “At BFGoodrich, we are genuine technical partners of the IRC.”

Marc Van Dalen, the team principal and co-founder of Kronos (which won the drivers’ World Rally Championship in 2006 with Sebastien Loeb) said: “We’re particularly proud to work together with BFGoodrich on a project like this. It’s a unique and exceptional operation, and the drivers who are chosen will be able to compete in ideal conditions. We are convinced that the concept will attract a long list of drivers who are interested in taking part.”
 
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