26 January 2007
PWRC: Q&A: Stuart Jones - EXCLUSIVE.
by Rob Wilkins
MSA British Rally Elite 'graduate', Stuart Jones will compete in the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship this year, stepping up from the British Rally Championship, after competing in a SJR Hankook-run Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.
Staying with the Group N Evo that he knows so well, Jones is looking forward to the challenge - and here he speaks exclusively to Crash.net Radio about his year ahead, which begins in March on the Rally Mexico, his first Production event...
Stuart, you are going to do the FIA Production Car WRC this season. Can you give us some details?
The actual sponsorship deal I can't announce totally yet, but there are certain sponsors, like Silverstone Tyres. They have come up with a good deal for us - a good support deal. So that is nice. But we will be able to announce more soon.
When will an announcement be made?
The announcement should be made at the end of this month or the beginning of February - in a couple of weeks.
You are skipping the first PCWRC event in Sweden and will begin your season in Mexcio, why is that?
We looked at the calendar and one reason we decided not to do it, is because it gives us a little more time. Also Sweden is quite an expensive rally to do, so we have decided to do Greece instead.
Why have you opted to use the Mitsubishi and not a Group N Subaru?
Basically we have gone for the Mitsubishi, because we have got the experience and knowledge of running the Evo. I believe we have got one of the fastest Evo's you can get your hands on anyway. We had it there from last year, so all we had to do was re-build it, which has been quite easy.
This will be your first year in the PCWRC, but what is your goal?
This year I want to get all the mileage I can and preferably not using the SupeRally or anything like that. I just want to get the experience and hopefully it will lead into an assault on the championship next year, when we can go for wins.
I take it you see this as a long term programme then?
That is what we are looking at. Definitely to see how we can do over a couple of years, maybe even three years, but we will just have to see how it goes this year.
Are you confident the Production Car WRC will allow you to continue to progress and ultimately continue to move up the ladder?
Yeah for sure, especially this year, the entry in the Production Car WRC is quite impressive. There is a lot of young Swedish and Finnish drivers' doing it. It is not just full of the more experienced drivers', like it has been a bit in the past, so I think this year, it will be better.
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