Former Subaru World Rally Team man Stephane Sarrazin will spearhead Peugeot's return on the Rallye Monte Carlo next January, it has been announced.
A statement from Peugeot Sport noted that with support from Peugeot France and the French Peugeot Dealership Network (GCAP), it has decided to enter a 207 Super 2000 on the last two rounds of the 2008 French Rally Championship, as well on the Rallye d'Antibes with a view to 'preparing the ground' for an entry on next January's Monte, the opening round in the 2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Sarrazin, who is not only one of the stars of Peugeot's endurance programme but also an accomplished rally driver, having won the French Rally title in 2004, will be co-driven by Jacques-Julien Renucci.
"It's a very exciting programme. The Rallye d'Antibes will enable me to find my marks in rallying again, especially as it will my first attempt at this event," he noted. "My last competitive outing on a rally was in Portugal last year with a 207 Super 2000. That went well, so I am not unduly worried.
"The Monte Carlo is a legendary event, of course, and I came fifth in 2006. The 207 Super 2000 is currently the car to beat in the IRC and I can't wait! I would like thank Peugeot Sport, Peugeot France and the French Dealership Network for giving me this fantastic opportunity."
Peugeot Sport meanwhile has chosen to enter the same car in the hands of 26-year-old Guillaume Canivenq on the last two rounds of the French championship.
Canivenq has come up through the ranks of Peugeot Sport's one-make championships and came first in the Volant 206 series in 2006. These two events will enable him to take on the various 307 WRCs which have tended to monopolise the French Championship over the past three seasons.
"I couldn't be happier. I think I showed that I was competitive in the 207 Super 2000 against the WRC cars on last July's Rallye du Rouergue before going off because of a misheard pace-note while lying second. I know a top result is possible with the 207," he added.
"I intend to prepare for these two rallies particularly thoroughly because it's not every day you get an opportunity like this, especially since the Rallye des Cévennes and the Rallye du Var are two events I know very well!"
Sarrazin will also be in action on the final two rounds in the French championship, as he will drive the 'zero' car, the 207 RC, which he has played a major role in developing and which is poised to be the star of Peugeot's new one-make series.