The Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) Rally of Scotland has been won by Skoda’s Andreas Mikkelsen, who has waited very long for his first win in the series. Juho Hänninen came in second, also for Skoda, sealing the manufacturers’ title for the Czech brand. Frenchman Bryan Bouffier was the best placed Peugeot in third.
Mikkelsen’s win in Scotland sets up a six-way fight for the IRC drivers’ title in the next and final rally in Cyprus. The others in contention are Bouffier, Hänninen, Jan Kopecký (Skoda, Czech), Freddy Loix (Skoda, Belgium), and Thierry Neuville (Peugeot, Belgium). Of them, Kopecky leads the pack with 131 points, six ahead of teammate Hanninen. Neuville is third with 115 points.
It was another frustrating IRC outing for Proton, who had home boy Alister McRae driving in place of regular man Basso. McRae, who is leading the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), retired due to a damaged oil sump.
The Satria Neo S2000 ran as high as fourth overall in the three day rally and came within 1.2 seconds of claiming its first ever stage win in IRC courtesy of former JWRC champ PG Andersson.
The Swede then met with an electrical problem, which was repaired but incurred a time penalty. PG then fought back from 12th to within the top 10 but retired with only a few more stages left. The culprit was a broken driveshaft that damaged the crank sensor, stopping the engine.