More than 100 crews, including 20 IRC regulars and a host of locally-based teams, have entered next week's Canon Mecsek Rallye, round eight of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge and Hungary's first appearance in the all-action series.
The asphalt event, which takes place in the city of Pecs from 9-11 September, is running for a 45th time this season and has attracted a star-studded entry with several leading Hungarian drivers set to take on the IRC stars over two days of exciting competition.
Bryan Bouffier, currently fourth in the IRC standings, heads Peugeot's challenge in his Peugeot France-backed 207 Super 2000. Other Peugeot drivers include Team Peugeot Belgium-Luxembourg's Thierry Neuville, Peugeot UK's Guy Wilks, Peugeot Sport Portugal's Bruno Magalhaes and Hungarian championship leader Janos Toth, who is being supported by Peugeot's Hungarian importer.
Skoda's line-up includes factory drivers Jan Kopecky and Freddy Loix, privateers Toni Gardemeister and Karl Kruuda, Red Bull SKODA's Hermann Gassner Jr, the Skoda Auto Deutschland duo Matthias Kahle and Mark Wallenwein, plus Andreas Mikkelsen and Norbert Herczig, who are representing the Skoda importers of United Kingdom and Hungary respectively.
Proton Motorsports' will field a brace of factory Satria Neo S2000s for PG Andersson and Giandomenico Basso, while Toshi Arai returns to the IRC to front Subaru's bid in the IRC Production Cup in his Yokohama-backed Impreza R4 where he will face opposition from several local drivers including Ralliart Lancer pair Gyorgy Aschenbrenner and Miklos Kazar.
Leading the M-Sport Ford effort are Germany's Felix Herbold and local driver Frigyes Turan, a former Mecsek Rallye winner.
Janos Puskadi front's Honda's push for IRC 2WD Cup honours, which will also be a target of class leader Jean-Michael Raoux and Stefano Albertini.
The event, a new addition to the IRC for this season, features 14 all-asphalt stages over a competitive distance of 251.86 kilometres. Stages are located in forest areas north of Pecs and run on mainly high-speed roads.