Since last year, the Monte Carlo route is no longer part of the World Rally Championship, but had become the regular season opener in the International Rally Challenge (which is mainly considered a feeder series for the WRC). Kubica will therefore start his highest-ranked rally event in career on January 19, after previously doing two more rallies in 2009.
His first outing with the Clio was in mid-November 2009, when competing in the Taormina-Messina Rally in Sicily. Unfortunately for the young Polish driver, he failed to finish that event, after which he made the entry list for the Rallye du Var. Seen as a preparation rally for the Monte Carlo event (also to be run on asphalt), the latter brought Kubica his first classification finish in career, in 29th spot.
Like Kimi Raikkonen, who recently committed to a full season inside the WRC with Citroen Junior Team, Robert Kubica also admitted that rallying is his second passion in motor racing, after Formula One. He made no secret from his desire to continue his racing career in the rallying world, after he'll have finished his business in the Great Circle.
Another Finnish F1 driver, Heikki Kovalainen, was tipped with a debut in the rallying world in mid-December, after signing a deal with Lotus F1 Team. He was believed to consider a Proton Satria Neo S2000 drive in the Arctic Rally shortly after Lotus F1's official launch, but is yet to confirm anything on the matter.