Jones happy with Rally Ireland performance Welshpool based Production World Rally Championship contender Stuart Jones declared himself pleased with his performance on the inaugural Rally Ireland, despite gearbox gremlins costing him time and...
Jones happy with Rally Ireland performance
Welshpool based Production World Rally Championship contender Stuart Jones declared himself pleased with his performance on the inaugural Rally Ireland, despite gearbox gremlins costing him time and robbing him of a certain top five in class.
Stuart, who teamed up with Birmingham based Andy Bull for this event, was contesting his second ever Irish rally, just over a year on from a strong run on the Ulster Rally. As a result Stuart had an idea of how difficult the conditions were likely to be and planned his strategy accordingly.
Choosing not to chase the front runners and instead focus on keeping their SJR Motorsport run Mitsubishi Evo 9 on the black stuff saw the pair still consistently well inside the top 10 in stage times. By the end of Fridays' opening leg the young Welshman was lying comfortably in sixth position despite having been hampered by a loss of power steering for two stages. With conditions worsening on Saturday Stuart was in his element, revelling in the atrocious weather and was all set to improve on his position when a freak gearbox problem forced the pair out of the day's action.
Returning under super rally rules on Sunday in order to gain more experience of the nature of the roads would prove invaluable and Stuart was more than happy with his performance throughout the weekend.
Our strategy was always to go at a comfortable pace, knowing that the conditions would catch out the unwary. This proved true and had it not been for 2 freak mechanical faults, the curse of any privateer team on a tight budget, we could have finished well inside the top 5 in class.
Andy and I got on well in the car and we are both now really looking forward to my home event, Wales Rally GB. This will be my first ever event in the exciting new MSD run MG Super 2000 Sport.
I would personally like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has assisted me throughout this year. Your help, assistance and advice has proved invaluable. Thank you.
Stuart's team, SJR, which is backed by Silverstone, PIAA, Teng Tools, Sparco, Custom Cages, Delivered on Time, Drive Me, R and D, Dacha Oak Floors and Rallytech, will now resort to a supporting role as Stuart steps into the exciting new MG Super 2000 Sport as he becomes the first PWRC registered driver to contest a world rally in this new breed of car.