Kumho Tires Begin 2009 With Motorsport Triumphs
Kumho Tires’ motorsport season started off on the right footing following a win at the opening round of the 2009 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship and its highest ever rank at the Dakar Rally.
Eugene Donelly, driving a Skoda equipped with Kumho rally tyres, competed in the A8 class (Over 2000cc, Group A) finishing in first place in the initial round of the Irish Rally, held in Galway on the weekend of 16-18 January. In addition to Donelly, three other vehicles equipped with Kumho rubber ranked first and second in N4 Class (fifth and sixth overall), and first in A7 Class (seventh overall) among 139 vehicles.
Donelly had previously won the Irish Rally three years in a row, from 2004 to 2007, in a rally car equipped with Kumho tyres. Kumho notes, however, that he failed to win the rally in 2008 after switching tyres to those made by another manufacturer. Donelly’s team made the decision to switch back to Kumho in 2009, proving to the experts, says the South Korean tyre maker, that Kumho tyres make the difference. “Harsh wind, hail and wet roads made this race extremely difficult, but with Kumho’s high performing tyres, we were able to win,” said Donelly during an interview after his victory.
Kumho Tires’ performance at Dakar Rally was also impressive. Dakar Rally 2009, also known as the ‘Extreme Race,’ ended on January 18 after a 15-day race covering 10,000 kilometres. A total of 177 vehicles in the car class rolled away from the starting line yet only 90 vehicles were able to finish. The French SMG team, equipped with Kumho tyres, ranked third in T1.3 class (20th in overall car class). This is the highest ranking ever recorded by a car using Kumho Tires products in the Dakar Rally.