Didier Auriol and Brice Tirabassi have joined forces to form 'Team France' for the inaugural Rally of Nations event, being run to cover Mexico's absence from this year's World Rally Championship calendar.

Auriol, won the drivers' World Rally Championship in 1994, and achieved six victories in one season in 1992 - a record that remained unbroken until 2005, when fellow countryman, Sebastien Loeb achieved ten.

He last competed in the WRC in 2005, although since then he has done a few rounds in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, including this year's Rallye Monte Carlo.

Speaking about his imminent trip to Mexico, Auriol is enthusiastic and believes that the Rally of Nations competition will definitely add interest.

"The concept of competing for a nation is a great idea," said Auriol. "It gives an extra motivation because you represent your country just like an athlete at the Olympic Games. On top of that it's a kind of 'flash-back' in the motorsport history when the cars had their country's coloured for Italy, blue for France and so on.

"About the rally itself, I can't wait because both Sebastien Loeb and my co-driver Denis [Giraudet] have told me about the fantastic mountain stages, the very compact route and the beauty of the area, especially Guanajuato.

"Even if I am not competing so much anymore I have still a strong motivation to win and to bring together with my team-mate Brice Tirabassi the best possible result for the French squad."

Tirabassi meanwhile, like Auriol, also has an impressive CV, and was the Junior World Rally champion back in 2003.

He has made it clear that despite this being his first Rally Mexico he has no intention of being an also-ran.



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