MG shines at the British Rally Championship opener in Gateshead. Gwyndaf Evans got off to a flying start in the opening round of the British Rally Championship at Gateshead at the weekend. The MG ZR EX258 was a Super 1600 Class win and achieved...
MG shines at the British Rally Championship opener in Gateshead.
Gwyndaf Evans got off to a flying start in the opening round of the British Rally Championship at Gateshead at the weekend. The MG ZR EX258 was a Super 1600 Class win and achieved 12th position overall.
Gwyndaf and co-driver Chris Patterson were running in 6th place overall and amongst the 'big boys' of WRC. The MG proved extremely competitive over the weekend but in between leaving the service park and heading towards stage 10, a gear linkage problem set in. With the problem fixed, the MG was back on track to complete all stages but not before picking up a time penalty of 150 seconds.
The MG made an excellent debut on gravel. On completing the event Gwyndaf was delighted for the team. He said: "Everybody has worked so hard since Catalunya and it's a just reward for all the effort. We've only begun and I really feel there's more to come." Chris Patterson added: "Gwyndaf kept a clear head throughout the rally to claim our maiden victory in this category of BRC. This has shown us what the MG ZR will be capable of once fully developed in the JWRC. This is great for MG and we are looking forward to Greece."
MG Sport & Racing was jubilant at the success. Rob Oldaker, managing director, said: "I am absolutely delighted with Gwyndaf and Chris' performance in our first 'gravel' rally this year. They were so fast that they gave many WRC cars a good run for their money. GSE did a great job in preparing the car and helped to give a very professional look to what is only our third event in the MG ZR EX258 JWRC car."
GSE Motorsport have been responsible for developing the MG ZR EX258 for the BRC and the Junior World Rally Championship. Baz Cannon, technical director, said: "We are back! I'm over the moon to be back with Evans, in our winning ways as we were from '94 -'96. I'm pleased with the way the team has come together and the progress of the car from testing through to the end of the rally."
The next outing for the MG ZR EX258 is the Acropolis Rally in the Junior World Rally Championship, which takes place 13-16 June in Greece.
A total of 31 cars finished the rally. Two additional privateer MG ZRs were competing. Rob Stone and co-driver Martin Prestage came home a commendable 2nd in the Group N Class (28th overall) whist Rob Gill and co-driver Anders Howards were right behind finishing 3rd in the same class (30th overall).