05 Jan 10
Swedish driver Patrik Sandell has become the latest big name driver to confirm an entry in the FIA's new championship for Super 2000 cars, the S-WRC.
Sandell, 27, will drive a Skoda Fabia Super 2000 in the competition - the same model he drove to victory on the opening two rounds of the 2009 Production Car World Rally Championship.
Like last year, Sandell's car will be run by Austrian preparation firm BRR - the team behind Andreas Aigner's title win in 2008 - and will again run under the Red Bull Rally Team banner.
Sandell will be partnered this year by long-term co-driver Emil Axelsson, 26, and has set his sights on winning the inaugural S-WRC crown after taking fourth place in the 2009 P-WRC.
“I’m very pleased to be able to drive for the BRR team again this year," said Sandell. "It’s a very professional team, and I very much enjoy working with them. I believe they are the best. We will be able to build upon last year’s experience and progress accordingly. The target can only be the S-WRC title!”
Team boss Raimund Baumschlager said: “We’re happy to compete for the world championship once again in 2010. We’ll rely on our proven team, which was beaten below its value last year. We want to learn from our mistakes and prevent them if possible. In Patrik Sandell / Emil Axelsson we have a driver pairing which is capable of winning the championship.
"Moreover, both are excellent team players, a very important factor. With the Skoda Fabia S 2000 we also have a definite winning car in 2010, there will be an improved version in the summer - which will be called Evo2 then. The championship will become even more interesting with Ford entering, that’s for certain!”
The team will begin its winter test programme on 11 January, in preparation for the opening round of the series - and Sandell's home event - The Swedish Rally, which starts on 12 February.