Toni Gardemeister will drive the Hankook Opel Corsa OPC Super 2000 later this month, when he takes in the next round in the 2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, the Rally Principe de Asturias in Spain.
Gardemeister and regular co-driver Tomi Tuominen are confident that development work on the car in the UK and on rallies in Belgium and the Czech Republic will provide them with a competitive package, but said further development work was the priority.
“I'm really looking forward to working with MSD and Hankook on the development of the car and the tyre package,” said Gardemeister. “These cars are going to be the standard in top class rallying in years to come so it's good to be given the opportunity to be part of the development work on the Corsa.”
While the Asturias Rally is new for Gardemeister, he has a wealth of experience rallying and testing on Spanish roads and he added that he is looking forward to the challenge which gets underway in Oviedo on September 10.
“This is new and exciting for MSD, Hankook and ourselves,” he continued, “and it is good to be part of developing a brand new package for the IRC.”
Hankook motorsports manager Mike Patterson meanwhile noted that he was thrilled to secure such a highly regarded rally driver for the Spanish rally.
“Andreas Mikkelsen did a fantastic job for us on the recent Barum Rally in the Czech Republic but he has commitments in Norway this month so we are delighted to be joined by Toni and Tomi in Spain,” Patterson continued. “Their experience will be invaluable as we develop the car ahead of a full assault on the IRC next year.”