Hankook to Race in 5 IRC Rounds
Hankook is stepping up its rally activities with plans to contest five rounds of the IRC this year ahead of a full championship assault in 2010. Hankook has joined forces with MSD to run the Opel Corsa OPC Super 2000 on five rounds of the IRC starting with Belgium Ypres Rally in June before tackling rounds in the Czech Republic, Spain, San Remo and Scotland.
Driving the Opel Corsa will be 33 year old Alex Bengue who has already tested the car with Hankook tyres. Bengue will also be supported this year by French oil company Yacco which has been a long term supporter of Bengue in France and at WRC level.
Hankook motorsports manager Mike Patterson said the opportunity to compete in such a high profile and forward thinking championship with such a great car/driver package would give the tyre brand huge exposure: “We have been looking at the IRC for some time and sampled the championship with Stuart Jones in Switzerland last year. Now is the perfect time to gain valuable experience on five rounds and plan a comprehensive campaign in 2010.’’
He said the mix of events chosen for 2009 would give the team valuable experience on both asphalt and gravel surfaces and ensure maximum opportunity for tyre development before the 2010 season gets underway.