Three BFGoodrich drivers, from two different manufacturers, stood on the podium at the end of the 46th Rally Principe de Asturias, the ninth round of the 2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge. Jan Kopecky (Skoda/BFGoodrich) took the win, but Kris Meeke (Peugeot/BFGoodrich) retained
his overall lead in the drivers’ championship.
The narrow, twisty roads of Asturias played host to the ninth round of the season, and tyre choice was the principal headache for every team.
Michel Ducher, BFGoodrich Technician: “The asphalt here is very low grip and the BFGoodrich drivers had the A11 (medium compound) and A31 (hard compound) tyres available. In some portions of the route, the A11 performed best, while the A31 was better in others. This meant the drivers, engineers and technicians had to find the best compromise, while also taking into account the length of the stages and anticipated changes in temperature through the day.
At the end of the first leg, three BFGoodrich drivers sat stop the overall standings, with 2008 winner Giandomenico Basso (Abarth/BFGoodrich) heading the Skoda/BFGoodrich pairing of Alberto Hevia and Jan Kopecky. The Peugeot/BFGoodrich team, including championship leader Kris Meeke, had suffered delays.
However, Basso made a mistake at the start of the second leg, allowing Jan Kopecky to inherit top spot. However, in spite of his second consecutive victory, the Czech remains second in the Drivers’ championship, one point behind Kris Meeke (Peugeot/BFGoodrich), who climbed from 16th to second place this weekend.
Round ten of the 2009 IRC will be held at Sanremo in two weeks’ time, and will be the fourth stop-over for the 2009 BFGoodrich Drivers Team operation. Italian Luca Cantamessa was selected by a jury to drive the BFGoodrich-liveried Peugeot 207 S2000 on his home event.