German young guns star in IRC
"The IRC is a really exciting series"
Two young talents from Germany are taking the Intercontinental Rally Challenge by storm this season with Hermann Gassner Jr and Sepp Wiegand both in regular action in the Eurosport-backed series.
Gassner Jr, a 23-year-old from Surheim, will contest eight rounds of the IRC in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 entered by the Red Bull Team and run by the Austria-based Baumschlager Rallye & Racing operation. Wiegand, who is from Zwönitz and turned 21 in January, will drive a Fabia Super 2000 for ŠKODA Auto Deutschland on 10 events.
After two rounds of the season, Wiegand (pictured) is third in the drivers’ standings with two fourth-place finishes. Gassner Jr is seventh in the points table following his run to fifth on the opening event of the year.
“The IRC is a really exciting series and the competition is very close in the Super 2000 category, which means I can learn a lot and build up my experience competing on international rallies,” said Wiegand, who is co-driven by Dakar Rally-winning co-driverTimo Gottschalk. “The coverage on Eurosport is also excellent and it’s good to know my friends and family can watch me when I am away competing.”
Gassner Jr switched from the Super 2000 World Rally Championship to compete in the IRC for 2012. He said: “The IRC always has good battles at the front and you can compare your times to the top guys. I am not so happy with how I am in the standings but the season is still young and I hope I can improve over the year.”
The German-speaking influence in the IRC doesn’t just stop with Gassner Jr and Wiegand. Andreas Aigner, from Austria, will contest a minimum of five rounds of the IRC Production Cup in a Stohl Racing-run Subaru Impreza R4 STI starting on the legendary Tour de Corse rally in May. Aigner’s countryman,Michael Kogler, will also be in action in the IRC this season competing in the IRC 2WD Cup in a Renault Clio R3 on six rounds.