Rally / 11 May 2011
Martin Kangur's Assault on the IRCThe 54th edition of the Tour de Corse-E. Leclerc Rally is, after a 2 years absence on the highest WRC level, for the first time counting for the IRC (International Rally Challenge). In the R3 category JAS Motorsport has high hopes for the performances of Estonian driver Martin Kangur and of Hungarian driver Janos Puskadi, both at the wheel of a Honda Civic Type R.
?A lot of attention will go to Janos Puskadi but many eyes will also be focused on Martin Kangur, only 18 years old and combining his studies with rallying. Quite recently he finished 8th overall in the national Honda Tallina Ralli,? explains JAS Motorsport Managing Director Alessandro Mariani. ?During last year?s season Martin demonstrated his skills in a few WRC rallies ? finishing 6th in the JWRC category in the Catalunya ? during the IRC event in Ypres and of course during the national Estonian Rally Championship?.
It is of course a well considered decision that driver Martin, his co Silver Kutt and the Catwees Honda Racing are focusing on the IRC, starting with the imminent Corsica rally.
?Corsica will be our first outing in the IRC and the target is to participate in 7 rallies on the IRC calendar?, explains the son of the Catwees Honda Dealer in the Estonian city of Tallina. ?Our goal is not only to learn the job but definitely to score points in the 2WD Cup at the end of each rally. After Corsica will follow Ukraine, Ypres, later on Barum, the Hungarian Mescek Rally, the San Remo and the Scottish Rally. Whether we include Cyprus or not in our programme will depend on our position in the 2WD Cup.?
For Martin, competing in his homeland Estonia almost exclusively on gravel, racing on the narrow and tricky Corsican roads will definitely be a completely different ballgame.
?Racing on tarmac is a rather new experience for me?, explains the talented youngster during a short break during recces. ?That is also the reason why we decided on the IRC, a challenge which is mainly organised on tarmac. Immediately after the first kilometres here in Corsica I understood that there are only tight bends and Armco barriers to go by as point of reference, which makes it terribly difficult to go fast without making mistakes. I still have a lot to learn and I want to finish this rally. But I hope to score enough points too.?
Alessandro Mariani has high hopes that both Honda?s Civic Type R will finish high in the points in Corsica.
?After the Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Ingles, Honda lies 2nd in the provisional ranking of the IRC 2WD Cup for manufacturers with 42 points compared to the 53 points of the leaders Peugeot. An improved score thanks to the fantastic 1st position in R3 (and 15th overall) of Angel and Victor Marrero with the Honda Civic Type R at the end of the Rally Islas Canarias.?
The Tour de Corse-E. Leclerc is a 3-days event, has the cities of Calvi and Ajaccio as home base and counts 14 special stages, 320 kms in total against the clock.
The Tour de Corse-E. Leclerc can be followed live on Eurosport.