Citroen Sport has announced that it will enter two cars on the Cork '20' International Rally at the end of this month, as part of its preparations for the inaugural Rally Ireland.

The French manufacturer has already done one event in Ireland to gain an initial idea of the country's roads ahead of the penultimate round in the 2007 FIA World Rally Championship, when number one driver, Sebastien Loeb took in and won the Donegal Rally during the summer break.

Now Loeb will do a second event on September 28-30 in his Citroen C4 WRC, while his team-mate, Dani Sordo will also compete, although he will use a Citroen Xsara WRC, as Citroen don't have two C4s available for that weekend.

"To build up an even bigger picture of the Irish stages, Citro?n Sport has decided to enter two cars for the Cork Rally," explained team boss, Guy Frequelin.

"Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena will be able to gain extra experience of these highly specific roads at the wheel of a C4 WRC.

"Dani Sordo and Marc Marti meanwhile will get their first taste of competition in the country with a Xsara WRC, since Citroen Sport has no other C4s available for the weekend in question."

The BP Ford World Rally Team meanwhile also announced recently that it would enter a car on the Cork '20' International Rally and while the M-Sport-run operation has yet to confirm which of its drivers' will be in action, it could be very interesting if Marcus Gronholm competes, as it will provide an early indication of what might happen on the Rally Ireland, which runs from November 15-18.

For the record, like Citroen, Ford has also already done an event in Ireland this season, when Gronholm won the Galway International Rally back in February.

With Ford and Citroen locked in a battle for both titles, it seems both are keen to get as much knowledge as possible of the event and the atypical stages competitors can expect to find there.