Tyre giant Hankook will renew its links with leading British rally driver Stuart Jones as he contests the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in Switzerland later this month.
The Rallye International du Valais is the final European stop on the schedule and will see Jones wheel out the Hankook-backed MG Super 2000 for an event that should prove to be a different challenge for the team. The three-day rally gets underway from its base at Martigny on 23 October, with crews tackling more than 260km of competitive stage.
“We worked with Stuart and the team from SJR in the British Rally Championship and are delighted to be renewing our partnership for such an exciting event,'' Hankook motorsport manager Mike Patterson explained, “We have been developing tyres specifically for the S2000 cars and Valais will provide the perfect opportunity to test these in some tricky conditions and against some of the best rally competition around."
Patterson revealed that temperatures ranging from minus five to high teens, and the likelihood of wet roads in the morning and sunshine in the afternoon, would give the tyres a thorough work-out, and confirmed that SJR would be taking a wide selection of rubber to cater for the diverse conditions.
“This is the most important rally of the season for us," Jones added, "We plan to contest the whole IRC next year and this will give us a really good insight into the championship, and how the new Hankook tyres perform."
The Welshman, who will once again be co-driven by Andy Bull, added that he expected the nature of the event - with twisty roads and lots of hairpins - to suit the MG and his driving style perfectly.
"The car has a great chassis, which we hope to really demonstrate in Switzerland," he noted, "I also really enjoy the precise driving needed on such an event and we know from experience that the Hankook tyres are great performers, so we are looking to have a successful team out on the Valais."