Mexican experience for Jones Despite a character building first day of Rally Mexico, Welshmen Stuart Jones and Craig Parry showed true grit and determination by achieving their primary aim of finishing their first...
Mexican experience for Jones
Despite a character building first day of Rally Mexico, Welshmen Stuart Jones and Craig Parry showed true grit and determination by achieving their primary aim of finishing their first ever world rally outside of Europe. They gained important experience and set some competitive times along the way.
After a promising pre-event test Stuart, Craig and the SJR Rally team were confident heading into Fridays' opening leg. However the high altitude and extreme heat caused the engine to overheat in the opening stage. Stuart was forced to stop and refill the radiator mid stage, costing the pair 16 minutes. In an effort to combat the problem they then ran their Silverstone shod Mitsubishi Evo 9 for the duration of the event without anti-lag, a vital accessory for gaining maximum power out of a turbocharged engine.
This left the Mitsubishi down on power but even so Stuart, who is the youngest competitor in the Production World Rally Championship, was constantly setting top 8 times for the remainder of the event. He managed a best stage time, less than 2 seconds off the pace of eventual class winner Mark Higgins, on the 18 kilometre long penultimate stage of the rally.
Friday was really frustrating for us as we lost over 16 minutes in that first stage. My times show that I was the quickest rookie on Day 2 and 3 which, considering we are a small family run team is not bad at all! Craig and I learnt a lot this weekend which is our primary purpose for 2007. Our Silverstone tyres worked very well and we were really happy with the setup of the car. This made our problem engine problem even more frustrating.
Stuart and Craig now switch surfaces as they travel to Ireland in April to contest the Easter International Rally ahead of the next round of the PWRC, which is Rally Argentina in early May.