Prime Yalta Rally preview - IRC set to thrill in Ukraine

Prime Yalta Rally preview - IRC set to thrill in Ukraine

08.09.2012: Intercontinental Rally Challenge, round 10 of 13 Prime Yalta Rally, 14-16 September

Intercontinental Rally Challenge, round 10 of 13

Prime Yalta Rally, 14-16 September

Less than two weeks after Czech Republic hosted round nine of the all-action Intercontinental Rally Challenge, the series remains in Eastern Europe for the Prime Yalta Rally in Ukraine’s picturesque Crimea region from 14-16 September.

A new addition to the IRC roster in 2011, the Prime Yalta Rally is one of the most exciting asphalt events of the season with its spectacular waterside service park, demanding stages through the stunning Ai-Petri mountains overlooking Yalta, not to mention the huge following the event attracts from fans.

Famed for its Mediterranean climate and location close to the stunning Black Sea coastline, the Yalta Rally is unique in that two quick-fire stages take place prior to the ceremonial start, albeit a short distance from the event base, on Friday 14 September.

It also covers a tried and tested route with the three different stages on day three virtually identical to the runs used on day two, albeit in a reverse direction.


The Prime Yalta Rally stages are typically fast and flowing, not uncommon with the undulating asphalt roads found in the south of France and similar in places to Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse, which hosted the fourth round of the IRC earlier this season.

Road surfaces are generally smooth, albeit lacking grip, with a good line of sight into the corners that should enable drivers to push to the maximum. However, the asphalt is broken in sections and there is a risk of punctures despite the robust covers produced by the IRC’s tyre partners Michelin and Yokohama.

While temperatures hovered around 25 degrees centigrade when the Yalta Rally took place in June of last year, the mid-September date means that there is a slight question mark about the weather, with rain a possibility.


*Yalta etched its name in history when it hosted the wartime conference between the governments of the United States of America, United Kingdom and Soviet Union to agree Europe’s reorganisation following World War II in February 1945.

*Ukraine is an enthusiastic supporter of the IRC. As well as hosting a round of the series, Dream Team Ukraine is contesting selected events with up to three cars for home talents Vitaliy Pushkar, Oleksandr Saliuk and Oleksiy Tamrazov.

*A father and son will be in action on the Yalta Rally with Marco Tempestini and son Simone Tempestini both competing in Subaru Imprezas.

*Borscht soup is a dish to savour in Ukraine. It’s made from vegetables, including beetroot, and meat.

*Apart from the UEFA Euro 2012 football tournament, the Yalta Rally is Ukraine’s biggest sporting event.


One of the key features behind the ongoing success of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge is the allowance in the regulations for drivers to pick and choose what events they contest based on budgets and other commitments.

With drivers able to count their best eight scores out of a possible 13 only, defending IRC champion Andreas Mikkelsen has chosen not to include the trip to Yalta in his schedule for 2012 having already contested nine rounds of the series so far this year. But he remains a big fan of the event and the challenge it will present the crews taking part.

“The Tarmac is very different to any other rally I’ve ever done; it’s very slippery in the dry and if it’s wet it will be really tricky,” said the ŠKODA UK Motorsport driver. “The stages are more or less the same as last year, so there are some spectacular stages – especially Ai-Petri. That goes up a big hill and then you go straight into the next stage, Plato, which goes down the hill. These two stages are quite tricky for punctures, but if you stay out of trouble on these two stages I think you’ll have a good chance of scoring a very good result.”

Rashid Al-Ketbi makes a welcome return to IRC action in his Skydive Dubai Rally Team Fabia Super 2000 for what will be his first appearance in Yalta where he will face opposition from rising Finnish talent Mikko Pajunen, who is co-driven by Kimi Räikkönen’s former navigator Kaj Lindström in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000.

Yuriy Protasov will pilot a Fiesta RRC – similar to the car Giandomenico Basso drove to victory on Rally San Marino earlier this year – for the 77 Rally Team, where he will be joined by fellow Ukrainian Yukhym Vazheyevskyy in a Peugeot 207 S2000. Yağiz Avci, from Turkey, will drive a Fiesta S2000, while László Vizin will compete in Eurosol Racing Team’s Fabia.

IRC Production Cup

The battle for home supremacy will take centre stage in the IRC Production Cup with young talent Vitaliy Pushkar going up against established ace Valeriy Gorban in the showroom category. Pushkar won the IRC Production Cup in impressive fashion on the Sibiu Rally in Romania in July and will once again be a contender for victory in his Dream Team Ukraine Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer.

Gorban, meanwhile, doubles up as the boss of the Mentos Ascania Racing team, which has considerable international competition experience. Romania’s Marco Tempestini will also be one to watch in his Subaru Impreza R4 STI as will Italian veteran Marco Cavigioli and Volodymyr Pechenyk, who claimed IRC Production Cup glory in Yalta last season. Frenchman Robert Consani, who competes under a Ukrainian licence, will also challenge for victory in his Renault Mégane RS.


As well as being eligible for IRC Production Cup honours, Robert Consani will be in the hunt for first place in the IRC 2WD Cup. The Renault driver trails Harry Hunt by 26 points after nine rounds but with Hunt not competing in Ukraine, Consani can slash his lead to one point if he wins on his Yalta debut.

Romania’s Vlad Cosma and leading female driver Ekaterina Stratieva, from Bulgaria, will also impress as will Honda Civic drivers Ivan Ostapchenko and Alexey Panov. Murat Bostanci, from Turkey, is one of several M-Sport Ford Fiesta R2 drivers taking part, while Giedrius Kriptavicius from Lithuania will be lining up in a Renault Clio.

-Richard Rodgers, photos IRC


08.09.2012 / MaP

More News

IRC Production Cup battle to thrill in Yalta
The all-action Intercontinental Rally Challenge heads to Ukraine next week for the Prime Yalta Rally with the IRC Production Cup set to provide one of the biggest talking points.Although title leader Andreas Aigner has not included the trip to the picturesque more >>
Kronos Racing set for IRC return in San Remo
One of the most successful teams in Intercontinental Rally Challenge history will return to the series on Rallye Sanremo next month.Belgium-based Kronos Racing, which guided Nicolas Vouilloz and more >>
Harry Hunt reaffirms IRC 2WD Cup commitment
Harry Hunt will still complete his planned schedule in the IRC 2WD Cup despite confirming an agreement to contest Rallye Sanremo in a Peugeot 207 Super 2000.Hunt, who holds a 26-point lead over Renault driver Robert more >>
Craig Breen back in the IRC in Saintéloc Peugeot
Saintéloc Racing team manger Vincent Ducher has revealed his delight after confirming Craig Breen will return to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in one of his squad’s Peugeot 207 Super 2000s.Breen more >>
Three questions to Pernilla Solberg
Petter Solberg Engineering team co-ordinator on her Zlín ‘debut’What were the best and worst bits about your job on Barum Czech Rally Zlin? more >>
Florian Gonon in the spotlight
A garage service centre manager by trade, Florian Gonon first made headlines in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge by finishing runner-up in the IRC Production Cup in 2011 following an impressive campaign in a Subaru Impreza, wi more >>
Barum Rally Local Honda Drivers Put in Strong Performance
Intercontinental Rally Challenge - Barum Rally 2012     The Barum Czech Rally Zlin, the 9th round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, lived up to its reputation this weekend as one of the most strenuous rallies on more >>
IRC standings and statistics after Barum Rally Zlin 2012
IRC Rallyes  Barum Czech Rally Zlin 2012IRC drivers after round nine of 131 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) 136pts; 2 Juho Hänninen (Finland) 93pts; 3 Jan Kopecký (Czech Republic) 83pts; 4 Sepp Wiegand more >>
Stage winners at Barum Rally Zlin 2012
IRC Series  BARUM CZECH RALLY ZLIN 2012Day one (Friday 31 August-Saturday 1 September, 139.22 kilometres):SS1: SSS Zlín (9.36kms): Overall: Kostka/IRC PC: Orsák/IRC 2WD: ConsaniSS2: Slu&scaro more >>
Juho Hanninen wins Barum Czech Rally Zlin 2012
Barum Czech Rally Zlín2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, round nine of 13*First victory on asphalt event for ŠKODA Motorsport driver*Aigner wins IRC Production Cup for Subaru more >>
Juho Hanninen tops battle in Barum Rally Zlin
Juho Hänninen heads the battle of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge greats on Barum Czech Rally Zlín following a day of high drama on the demanding all-asphalt stages in south-east Czech Republic, four of which were broadcast live on Eurosport more >>
Juho Hanninen leads in Barum Czech Rally Zlin after stage 3
IRC Rallyes - BARUM CZECH RALLY ZLIN 2012Overall Standings after stage 3, top 101     1 FIN      1     Hänninen Juho / Markkula MikkoŠkoda Fabia S2000&nb more >>
Barum Rally Zlin Standings after stage 1
IRC Series   BARUM CZECH RALLY 20121     14 CZE      1     Kostka Tomáš / Houšť M.Škoda Fabia S2000      2 2   more >>
Tomáš Kostka is the surprise leader of Barum Czech Rally Zlín after the opening stage
...of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge qualifier tonight.- SS was interrupted due to undisciplined spectator.- In Zlín is 17 °C, track is wet, no rain now. more >>
IRC fans in for Barum Rally Zlin television treat
Leading Intercontinental Rally Challenge frontrunner Jan Kopecký says fans watching the live television coverage of Barum Czech Rally Zlín this weekend will savour a sporting spectacular.Eurosport Events is producing live coverage of four stages o more >>
Patrik Flodin: I was being like Mike Tyson
Patrik Flodin insists his ‘Mike Tyson moment’ won’t slow his pace when he competes in front of live television cameras on round nine of the all-action Intercontinental Rally Challenge this week. more >>
Victory vital for Subaru ace Toshi Arai
Navigator Dale Moscatt says it’s time his and driver Toshi Arai’s chase of a second consecutive IRC Production Cup title stepped up a gear.Heading to Barum Czech Rally Zlín this week, the Tomm more >>
Florian Gonon to go back to school at Barum Rally Zlin
Florian Gonon plans to go back to school when he returns to Intercontinental Rally Challenge action in Czech Republic from 31 August-2 September.The Swiss Peugeot driver is a Barum Czech Rally Zlín more >>
Three questions to Robert Barrable
Age: 24 Lives: County Dublin, IrelandIrish ace on his hopes for Zlín and his event preparationsHow have your preparations gone for the rally?“We more >>
Juho Hanninen in the spotlight
No driver has won more IRC events than 31-year-old Finn Juho Hänninen whose impressive tally now stands at 10 triumphs following his impressive maiden victory on the Geko Ypres Rally in June. After becoming IRC cha more >>
A full crowd expected for Martin Kangur at the Barum Czech Rally Zlin
Intercontinental Rally Challenge - Barum Rally 2012     After a long summer break, the Intercontinental Rally Challenge heads to the lightning-quick asphalt roads of the Barum Czech Rally Zlin in the Czech Republic this more >>
Gilbert Roy, Eurosport Events Director interview
Eurosport Events’ Director of Editorial and Programme Development looks ahead to Barum Czech Rally Zlín, round nine of the 2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, and the four stages that will be shown live on television.Why more >>
IRC and Colin McRae Vision
The IRC works in partnership with Colin McRae Vision, the charity established in memory of the rally legend. Colin McRae Vision will support initiatives and other good causes close to IRC events. The Colin McRae IRC Flat Out Trophy will be awarded on all rounds of the IRC to the driver best embodying McRae’s spirit. Andreas Mikkelsen wa more >>
Barum Rally Zlin Event essentials, points and statistics
EVENT ESSENTIALSEvent: Barum Czech Rally Zlín, round nine of 13Starts: 17:00hrs, Friday 31 August, Naměsti Miru square, Zlín, Czech RepublicFinishes: 14:30hrs, Sunday 2 September, Pod Velkým Kinem, ZlínHeadquarters: Building 21, 761 90, ZlínService park: Barum Factory, Otrokovice more >>
Jan Kopecky in the spotlight
ŠKODA Motorsport star on achieving IRC success on home soil 2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, round nine of 13Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 31 August-2 SeptemberBarum Czech Rally Zlín is conside more >>
The battle for victory in Barum Rally Zlin 2012
2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, round nine of 13Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 31 August-2 SeptemberFIVE FACTS *Zlín might never have prospered had it not been for one T more >>
Barum Czech Rally Zlin, IRC greats to go head-to-head
2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, round nine of 13Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 31 August-2 September  OVERVIEWThe thrilling race for the 2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge more >>
Excitement builds as IRC Rally Zlin approaches
An entry list of more than 100 cars, four stages live on television and more than 200,000 fans expected to line the route will make next week’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín one of the highlights of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge season.I more >>
Eurosport LIVE coverage of Barum Czech Rally Zlín
IRC Series   Barum Czech Rally ZlínSaturday 1 September10:00hrs-11:00hrs CET: SS2 Slusovice 1 (16.20 kilometres)13:00hrs-14:00hrs CET: SS4 Slu more >>
Peugeot plans SanRemo trial for 208 R2
Fans attending Rallye Sanremo, the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in Italy in October, will get the chance to see Peugeot Sport’s R2-specification 208 being put through its paces. more >>
Jan Kopecky in interview
Age: 30 Lives: Czech RepublicCzech hero on summer holidays and winning at homeIt’s been a few months since your last IRC appearance. What have you been up to?&ldquo more >>
Hard working Stratieva get reads for Barum Rally Zlin
Ekaterina Stratieva returns to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge on Barum Czech Rally Zlín next week determined to “enjoy every centimetre” of the asphalt showcase.The Bulgarian h more >>
Veteran Emil Triner to do it for the fans on Barum Rally Zlin return
Czech rallying legend Emil Triner will back in action on Barum Czech Rally Zlín after a six-year absence next week in a car that he has always wanted to drive.The 51-year-ol more >>
Robert Consani in the spotlight
With a total of three IRC starts under his belt prior to 2012, Frenchman Consani will enter the majority of the 13-round IRC series this year, using a Renault Mégane RS on asphalt events and a Clio R3 on gravel due to the former no more >>
Live Barum Rally Zlin TV coverage to excite IRC fans
Fans watching live television coverage of the upcoming ninth round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in Czech Republic will be in for a treat.That’s according to Gilbert Roy, one of the key members of the team responsible for t more >>
Three questions to Petter Solberg
Age: 37 Lives: MonacoFormer world rally champion on running a team in the IRCWhat did you think of the IRC during your visit to the Sibiu Rally as a team boss?& more >>
Rising talent Esapekka Lappi plots IRC move
Finnish rally champion elect Esapekka Lappi, one of the most exciting young drivers currently competing, is set to step up to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in 2013.The 21-year-old, who is managed by more >>
Guy Wilks back in action
Former Intercontinental Rally Challenge frontrunner Guy Wilks will be back in action in a rally car when he drives a Renault Twingo R2 on International Rally Northern Ireland this weekend, a round of the British championship. more >>
Jarkko Nikara prepares for Czech debut
Jarkko Nikara has admitted that he will be up against it in his bid for IRC Production Cup glory on Barum Czech Rally Zlín from 31 August-2 September.Nikara, from Finland, will drive a Tommi Mä more >>


2001-2023 full copyright