by Geoff Mayes
Stuart Jones is looking forward to returning to Ireland for the Todds Leap Ulster International Rally this weekend as the Lico Wheels-backed driver went well on his last visit to the event in 2006.
Jones was in his first year in the British Rally Championship then and took a splendid podium position and was never far off the pace of the eventual winner.
Fast forward twelve months and the Welshman put in a very strong drive on last years inaugural WRC Rally Ireland before being hampered by gearbox problems.
Jones, who is co-driven by Andy Bull, now returns to Armagh with the exciting new MG Super 2000 Sport and, judging by his early season pace, the nimble MSD-run screamer should be in contention from the word go.
"I've always enjoyed the Irish tarmac. I'm not sure why it suits my driving style but I am really hoping we have a good run this weekend," said Jones. "We need to get our championship back on track."
A tight budget for 2008 has precluded any major testing opportunities but despite this Jones is confident of a good run this weekend and he will be keen to add to his 31-point tally after failing to finish on the Manx last month.
"The good thing is that the team have a fair bit of tarmac experience as Roy White has been competing in the Irish Championship all year in the sister car," Jones added, "and so we at least have a good base set up to start the two-day event with."