BFGoodrich has announced the five rounds of this year's Intercontinental Rally Challenge that will make up the calendar of the 2009 'BFGoodrich Drivers Team' programme.
The events that will included in the 2009 BFG Drivers' Team programme, in addition to this week's Rallye Monte Carlo, are: the Belgium Westhoek Ypres Rally, the Barum Rally Zlin (Czech Republic), the Rallye Sanremo (Italy) and the Rally RAC MSA of Scotland.
The BFG scheme works by allowing drivers of different nationalities the chance to contest their home round of the IRC at the wheel of a factory-specification Peugeot 207 S2000 run by Kronos Racing.
In order to try and secure the drive, each crew has to submit an application dossier. Representatives of BFGoodrich and Kronos Racing then prepare a final shortlist, before national media from each country spend a day with all the shortlisted candidates and vote for their preferred choice.
"The Intercontinental Rally Challenge is an exciting and rapidly expanding series based on a calendar of prestigious rallies which permits open competition between tyre manufacturers, while the cost of competing is dialled into the championship's DNA," said BFGoodrich's competitions director Frédéric Henry-Biabaud.
"It consequently serves as an ideal framework for the BFGoodrich Drivers Team which we launched in 2008 and which was an immediate hit with competitors.
"For the first year, we received some 300 applications for the drives in the five countries concerned, and I believe that speaks volumes for the interest it has generated."
Frenchman Sébastien Ogier meanwhile has been nominated to start the ball rolling for the BFG Drivers' Team on the celebrated 'Monte'.
The 2008 Junior WRC champion was selected earlier this month by a panel of journalists and representatives from BFGoodrich, Kronos Racing and the FFSA (France's motor sport governing body).
"It is really a fantastic opportunity to be lining up for the start of such a great event in such a strong car, and I am aware of how much I owe to BFGoodrich for turning that dream into reality," said the 25-year old.
"The 207 S2000 has a proven track record in the IRC and is a very competitive package, although it is different to the cars I have driven until now. Above all, I think the Rallye Monte-Carlo will be great experience for me, but I also think a top result is possible. Tyres and tyre choices invariably play a decisive role on this event. I am competing in the colours of BFGoodrich, so I should benefit from the excellent advice on that front!"