Hankook Renews Jones Link for Swiss IRC Event
Hankook has renewed its links with leading rally driver Stuart Jones for the final round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in Switzerland – the Rallye International du Valais – in October. The manufacturer has been working with Jones and his family business, SJR Motorsport since the driver’s British Rally Championship days, and Hankook motorsport manager, Mike Patterson declared himself, “delighted to be renewing our partnership for such an exciting event.’’
“We have been developing tyres specifically for the S2000 cars and Valais will provide the perfect opportunity to test these in some tricky conditions and against some of the best rally competition around.’’ The Hankook MG Super 2000 will be in action at the three-day event, which gets underway on Thursday October 23 from the rally’s base in Martigny. The crews will tackle more than 260 km of competitive stage miles.
The team has been researching conditions for the stage. Patterson said that temperatures ranging from -5 degrees and wet, slippy roads in the mornings through to high teens and sunshine in the afternoon will give the tyres a thorough testing. SJR will take a wide selection of tyres to cater for the diverse conditions expected.
“This is the most important rally of the season for us,’’ said Jones, who will once again be co-driven by Andy Bull. “We plan to contest the whole IRC next year and this will give us a really good insight into the championship, and how the new Hankook tyres perform.’’
Jones also suggested that the nature of the event, with twisty roads and lots of hairpins, will suit the MG and his driving style perfectly. “The MG has a great chassis which we hope to really demonstrate in Switzerland. I really enjoy the precise driving needed on such an event and we know from experience that the Hankook tyres are great performers so we are looking to have a successful team out on the Valais.’’