Two of rallying's biggest names will come together in pursuit of the first title offered by the new-look European Rally Championship.
François Delecour will defy his 50 years to join forces with former WRC, ERC and IRC champion Kronos Racing to pilot a Peugeot 207 S2000 in Visit Romania colours, beginning with the Janner Rallye in early January.
Kronos' pedigree includes taking the 2006 WRC title with Sébastien Loeb and 2008 IRC crown with Nicolas Vouilloz, adding to the ERC honours earned with Bruno Thiry back in 2003.
Delecour will again be partnered by co-driver Dominique Savignoni, and is confident of being handed the opportunity to chase the championship, despite only being confirmed for the Austrian opener to this point.
“At this very moment, we have only confirmation for our presence in Austria, but we are waiting for our dynamic Romanian partner's green light to start in almost every race for the ERC and, at the same time, defend our Romanian rally title," the former Peugeot, Ford and Mitsubishi works driver commented, "This would mean a total of17 or 18 rallies. It is our aim to defend our Romanian title and to manage a maximum of top three places in the ERC.”
The Eurosport-promoted ERC visits Romania for the Sibiu Rally between 25-27 July, and Kronos boss Mark van Dalen is looking forward to working with one of the sport's biggest names in 2013.
“Needless to say, we are very excited to start next year with such a rally legend," he noted, "I've always admired Francois Delecour for his frankness and his personality and, furthermore, it is interesting to see that he will be supported by a country of which we will be, one way or the other, the ambassadors. The Carpathians, the Donau delta, the Black See beaches, places which we will visit for the first time. Thanks to an important television coverage the ERC provides for an excellent promotional tool.”
The Janner Rallye, Austria's version of the Monte Carlo Rallye, starts in Freistadt on 4 January.