Motor Sport Developments has announced that it is ready to begin a 'rigorous testing programme' with the new Corsa Super 2000 car.

In a statement to the press the Milton Keynes-based company added that gravel and tarmac testing will start right away ahead of its homologation on October 1 by the FIA, the sports governing body, and then its competition launch 'immediately thereafter'.

The release also included the first few pictures of the machine, which will be eligible for competition in both the FIA World Rally Championship and in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

"We are delighted with the car, it has come together exceptionally well," said David Whitehead, managing director of MSD, the company charged with the development and support of the Corsa S2000.

"We have drawn heavily on our extensive World Rally Car experience running the Hyundai WRC programmes, plus our more recent experience developing the MG S2000 Sport, to create what we believe will be a very competitive Super 2000 car that can challenge the Peugeot and Fiat equivalents. We have some good experience with Super 2000 having now developed two cars for two different manufacturers."

Asked about the level interest in the Corsa S2000 so far, Whitehead added that it has been 'overwhelming' and a number of teams and drivers are already said to be looking at running programmes in 2009.

"We are in advanced discussions with several teams for programmes with the backing of various national Opel sales offices," he continued.

"Despite there being no official Opel presence in the WRC in recent years, the brand still has a strong rally culture. Super 2000 is the rally car category of the future and we are delighted to have produced a Super 2000 car based on one of the most popular cars on sales today."

For the record, MSD has a long history with Opel having been created when Opel Motorsport spun off its rally activities in the late 1980s to form GM Eurosport. MSD developed and ran Opel Kadetts, Astras and Calibres in the WRC and national rally championships to much success, including winning the WRC for women with Louise Aitken Walker.

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