Ahead of the publication of the Rally Catalunya entry list, the Subaru World Rally Team can confirm it will be running a third Subaru Impreza WRC2008 on the remaining two asphalt events of the season: Rally de España, 2-5 October, and Rally de France Tour de Corse, 10-12 October 2008.
The third car will be piloted by the 2002 French S1600 Champion and 2003 JWRC Champion Brice Tirabassi, who will sit alongside long-time co-driver Fabrice Gordon. For the 31 year old Frenchman, who has made 27 WRC event starts in his career, Corsica is a key event. He made his WRC event debut on the island in 1999 and it was also the scene of his last WRC start in 2007.
Tirabassi is no stranger to Subaru, having driven an Impreza WRC2002 in 2004 and campaigned an Impreza Spec C in the 2005 Group N championship. He is eager for the opportunity to upgrade to a World Rally Car for two events.
“We are pleased to welcome Brice back to the Subaru fold, and this time in a factory-prepared Impreza World Rally Car” said Richard Taylor, Subaru World Rally Team managing director. “We’ve been talking to Brice since just after the Acropolis Rally so it’s great that we’ve agreed a deal that will aid Brice’s campaign and strengthen our line-up for the final two back-to-back tarmac rallies of the season.”
“I am very happy to be taking part in these two events with a team of the level of the Subaru World Rally Team” said Brice Tirabassi. “I have not much experience of driving a WRC car, but I know both events quite well. My objective in Spain is to understand the car better, learn more about the team and find the limit. In Corsica, if I feel comfortable enough the plan is to use more of the car’s performance and push a little bit harder.”
Brice will spend two days testing a World Rally Impreza prior to Rally Catalunya in order to become acclimatised to its performance before his first competitive outing.