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WRC - Former Champions Tipped for One-Off Rides

London, UK – 3/9/2005

Following the announcement by Portuguese Rally officials that former world champions Juha Kankkunen and Didier Auriol will take part in the event, in an attempt to strengthen its bid to become part of the official WRC calendar, WRC media boss David Richards has revealed to Autosport magazine his intentions to promote similar actions with other ex-champs in selected European rounds of the World Rally Championship.

Lining up for the possible one-off drives are star names such as Colin McRae, Tommi Makinen and Carlos Sainz, besides Kankkunen and Auriol themselves - who are set to run Group N cars at the Portuguese race.

“It seems to me that to have drivers like these guys out there will provide great publicity for rallies,” Richards believes. “The Portuguese organizers are trying to get back into the WRC and see this as a way of raising the profile of the event. That’s something I’m very supportive of, [and] promoters of European WRC rounds could use the same method to bring spectators in.”

“We [would] be happy to do what we can to facilitate those deals,” Richards concluded.
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