Hankook Develops BRC Position
Hankook has continued to have a strong UK motorsport season with the latest successes in the Jim Clark Rally – the second round of the Tesco 99 Octane British Rally Championship. The SJR Hankook team set a string of fastest times with driver Gwyndaf Evans and increased its points haul with an impressive finish by team-mate Stuart Jones.
The rally was won by Irish driver Derek McGarrity in the Subaru Impreza WRC with maximum BRC points going to current champion Mark Higgins who amazingly tied on time with Mitsubishi driver Rory Galligan, but won having posted the fastest time of the two on the first stage of the rally.
Hankook also supported BRC regular Robert Swann who recorded a top 10 result in the Group N class and youngster Matt Beebe who won his class. “This was the first asphalt test for our tyres as the rally takes place on closed roads around the borders town of Duns,’’ said Hankook motorsports manager Mike Patterson. “We were successful on gravel in the first round which was a great confidence boost to the team and on the Jim Clark the tyres were once again perfect for the conditions with the drivers all praising their performance.’’
Based in the Borders town of Kelso, the 53 crews which started the Jim Clark Rally faced 160 miles of high speed tests on 21 stages. The two day event is the only closed roads rally in mainland UK and one of the most demanding in the championship on a mix of main roads and tight, twisty country lanes – a real test for the tyres.
Leading home the Hankook contingent was 21 year old rally hotshot Stuart Jones who increased his championship points tally on the Jim Clark Rally, bringing home the SJR Hankook Mitsubishi fifth in class and in ninth place overall.
Stuart, together with co-driver Craig Parry from Oswestry, also beat off stiff competition to take maximum points in the Mitsubishi Evolution Challenge, and the Juniors category – a just reward for a mature drive on the second round of the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship.
“We had a disappointing start on the Friday evening with six tough stages but we fine tuned the suspension settings and I was much happier on day two,’’ said Stuart. “The Hankook tyres were perfect for the conditions and it’s good to put my asphalt experience from Rally Catalunya to good use in the Scottish borders.”