Rally success a highlight of Kumho’s motorsport year
A great deal of serious rallying takes place in Ireland, continually reminding us of the wealth of natural driving talent that exists on the island from which Paddy Hopkirk MBE emerged all those years ago. The conditions are often wet and slippery, and Kumho Tyres says this is a medium in which its competition tyres have frequently proved themselves the cream of the crop, adding that they often did once again in 2017.
Clonakilty Black Pudding Irish Tarmac Championship: Kumho has a proud record in this series, not least courtesy of such former outright victors as
Eugene Donnelly and Garry Jennings. Among the more prominent of this year’s Kumho-supported runners was Barry Jones, brother-in-law of Welsh rugby international Scott Williams, who clinched the Historic class in his self-prepared MKII Ford Escort with one event to spare. Another was 22-year-old Jenna McCann who employed a suitably distinctive pink and black-coloured Ford Fiesta R2 to annexe the hotly contested Junior class at the final round in Cork. Do we have another Michelle Mouton in the making?
Triton Showers National Rally Championship: Kumho assisted no less than seven drivers to class wins in this series, but the other stand out result was Shane Maguire’s overall victory in the Group N category with his Mitsubishi Evo 9. And, as if that wasn’t impressive enough, he also achieved outright honours in the West Coast Rally Championship and won the Group N category in the Border Rally Championship.
Other notable rally results for Kumho-equipped drivers included overall victory by John Morrison and Peter Carstairs (Mitsubishi Evo 9) in the MSA British Rally Championship National Rally Cup; Outright victory by Marty McCormack (Ford MKII Escort) in the Roger Albert Clark Rally – outright victory by Marty McCormack as well as three podium finishes in the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship and sixth overall despite experiencing a major accident on the Ypres round; overall victory by Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy (WRC Subaru) in the Corrib Oil Galway International Rally, an event that also saw Alastair Fisher and Gordon Noble (Ford Fiesta) take third overall and first in the R5 championship class.
Single-seater and saloon series
Kumho has been the sole tyre supplier to the French F4 series for a number of years. This season was won by 17-year old Frenchman Arthur Rougier, whose five victories at Spa and Pau were just enough to secure him the championship by four points from fellow countryman Victor Martins.
2017 was also the 20th consecutive year that Kumho has supported the UK’s ever-popular BMW Saloon Championship, and the third for which it has provided the powerful Class A cars with the option of slicks and wet weather tyres. This year’s overall champion and winner of Class CC in his BMW Compact was Kevin Denwood.
Further afield, Kumho continued to act as tyre supplier for such major national competitions as the Australian V8 Touring Car and Chinese Touring Car championships.