The 49-year-old, who claimed a stage win on his last IRC appearance on Rallye Monte-Carlo in 2011, will compete in a Visit Romania-backed Renault Mégane RS and will be eligible for points in the IRC Production Cup and IRC 2WD Cup, in addition to outright IRC honours.
“I’m very, very happy – it’s like I’m having a second youth at the moment,” said Delecour, who will link up with regular co-driver Dominique Savignoni. “I’ve tried the car a bit already and I think it is fantastic: very impressive. The handling is nice, also the power. It reminds me a little bit of the Peugeot 309 I used to drive: well balanced and with a really useable spread of power from the engine. It’s not like the old F2 cars, such as the Peugeot 306: the power on those was much more brutal and they were very physical to drive. This is easy, relaxed.”
Delecour reckons his new car will be ideal for the tight and twisty Corsican stages: “From what I can see, it should be very well suited to Corsica: it’s progressive to drive, very neutral. I like the rally very much and we’ve had plenty of success in the past so my aim will be to try and win Group N; if we can do that I will be very happy.”
The experienced Emmanuel Guigou will partner Delecour in a second Mégane RS, which Delecour says will provide a significant benefit.
“I am sure he will be a very good reference for us, as he is very fast and he has some experience of the car,” said Delecour, who was seventh on his last Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse appearance in 2002.
This year's Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse