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IRC: Q&A: Andrew Coe - EXCLUSIVE.

by Rob Wilkins


TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH ANDREW COE: CLICK HERE


Scotland will stage the final round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge next year, it was confirmed this week. Crash.net Radio spoke to Andrew Coe - CEO of event organiser and promoter, International Motor Sports, to get the details on the event, which will run from November 19-21 2009...


Crash.net:
Andrew - we have had great news today, with confirmation that Scotland will host the final round of the IRC from 2009...

Andrew Coe:
It is brilliant – and as you can imagine, we are absolutely delighted. We have been working hard on this for the last couple of years and it is only quite recently that it has come to fruition. But to secure the final round in the 2009 IRC for Scotland and for the UK, with a brand new event as well, which makes it even more impressive, is great news for all of us. It is another major championship that is now coming to the UK.

Crash.net:
Scotland hasn't hosted a major international rally event for quite some time has it?

AC:
Believe it or not it is about 20 years since the old RAC Rally last visited Scotland. It is an historic day. It is a word that has been used many times in our press conference - but it is a very important day in the history of motorsport in Scotland. There is a rich heritage here and Scotland deserves a major event of this calibre.

Crash.net:
It is going to be a three-day event - can you tell us anything more about the route?

AC:
We have two partners in both Perth and Kinross Council and Stirling Council and while we haven't decided what the route will be yet, clearly we want to support the councils that are putting an investment in. The route, once we have decided what it will be, will be within the bounds of those two councils. Both are in central Scotland and there are some really, really fantastic world class stages here. We are very lucky in that respect. Over the next few weeks and months we will be coming out with some more developments in regard to what the format will be, what venue we will use and confirming the host city and service park arrangements etc, etc. There is a lot of hard work to do as of today.

Crash.net:
Is there any chance we will see some night stages?

AC:
I think that is possible. Certainly in November, which is when the event is going to happen, it is more than likely we will be running in the dark and there will be some night stages. It is something we have obviously experimented with over the last few years with Rally GB as well. I think it is something that is making a return to the sport. Why not?

Crash.net:
How long is the deal for?

AC:
It is a three-year deal both ways. We have got a deal with Eurosport Events, who are the global promoters of the IRC series and we have also got a three-year deal in place with Events Scotland and the two partner councils with funding coming in from them. So we can look forward to 2009 through to 2011 and hopefully even further on into the future.

Crash.net:
The IRC is a relatively new championship - does it worry you that there are no Brits competing in it regularly? Will that adversely affect crowd numbers?

AC:
Obviously with an event of the stature we are going to need to attract local support. The idea is that as the event develops we will tap into some of the domestic championships - the Scottish Rally Championship and perhaps even the British Rally Championship. This is a platform now for the IRC to develop a following in the UK. There are some British drivers who have been involved in one or two events this year and hopefully this will encourage more people to do it.

Crash.net:
Is it likely that, like Rally GB, the Scottish IRC event could form part of the BRC in the future?

AC:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Andrew Coe and Alex Salmond - First Minister of Scotland - at IRC Rally Scotland launch [Pic credit: Rally-Photo.com]
Andrew Coe and Alex Salmond - First Minister of Scotland - at IRC Rally Scotland launch [Pic credit: Rally-Photo.com]
Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland [right] speaking at IRC Rally Scotland launch [Pic credit: Rally-Photo.com]
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Markku Alen. Neste Oil Helsinki Battle 2014 [Pic credit: VW]
Markku Alen and Jari-Matti Latvala. Neste Oil Helsinki Battle 2014 [Pic credit: VW]
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