IRC: Tony Jardine Monte Carlo Rally summary

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Snow and ice end Mirror's Monte Carlo Rally challenge

Media duo Jardine and Young out of the rally after stage seven
Treacherous conditions catch out even the top competitors

On the second day of the event, the Monte Carlo Rally ends in bitter disappointment for the Daily Mirror ProSpeed team. After nearly 200 kilometres over six stages and two days, the Ford Fiesta driven by Tony Jardine with journalist Byron Young as co-driver has spun and crashed out of the rally on a road section between stages seven and eight.

After the seventh stage, Jardine and Young were lying in 71st place overall. Having started as car 116 out of 120 competitors, the team progressed well throughout the first and second leg of the event only to be caught out by the legendary and unforgiving Monte Carlo conditions. When the weather worsened, demanding snow tyres, the Ford Fiesta of the Daily Mirror team was still on wets and Jardine was powerless to stop their car sliding off the road on sheet ice before reaching the closing stage of the second leg.

Co-driver Young said, "We are gutted, absolutely gutted. Our ice crew that go out and recce the stages for us before we compete on them, completed their recce of stages seven and eight before the sudden snow blizzard arrived, which meant we were all unprepared for what was to come.

"Tony actually had to put the car into a wall to stop us from sliding any further down the hill. We had cars going off the road behind us and 100 yards in front of us, an unbelievable sight and they were all hitting the same patch of ice as us.

"The most frustrating thing is we could see the time control for the start of the eighth stage in the valley way below, but we just couldn't reach it! We spun 360 degrees into the wall as we were on wet tyres and not Kumho's studded snow tyres that could have saved us. We have been well and truly caught out by the famous and treacherous Monte Carlo conditions."

Jardine commented, "It took us seven hours before we managed to get our car back to service, and we had to wait on the stage, in minus seven temperatures, for our team to come and rescue us. It's a huge let down to exit the rally, especially as Byron was doing so well on his first ever international event - to have the experience cut short is a disappointment for the whole team.

"However, it was always an ambition of mine to even get as far as the first stage - so we have achieved that. We also have many people to thank for their support, without which we wouldn't have made it to the Monte Carlo Rally. For this event alone, Gran Turismo 5 for PlayStation 3 and Motorsport Insurance Services have backed us and it has been great to have them as part of the team.

"Congratulations to Byron for realising his goal of becoming a world-class co-driver. It really is an achievement to be proud of."

Only 69 cars have made it to the third leg of the rally (Friday 21 January), with many other competitors also having fallen victim to the snow and ice that covered Thursday's afternoon stages.

The media pairing of Jardine and Young were denied the opportunity to compete on the final stage of both the first and second days. On Wednesday, the final stage was cancelled due to a competitor crashing out, and on Thursday the icy stages put an end to the Daily Mirror Monte Carlo Rally challenge.

During the second leg of the event, the leader Juho Hanninen, also made the wrong tyre choice and dropped back dramatically from first to sixth overall, ending the day a substantial 2 minutes and 35.7 seconds behind the new frontrunner Bryan Bouffier. Petter Solberg was also among the big names caught out by the sudden change in the stage conditions.

-source: jardine

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Series RALLY