Over recent years, Kumho tyres have carried drivers to the top of the podium in a host of international and national rally championships but, until this year, had never featured on a winning car in the French Gravel Championship.
Now they have not only aided former double European Rally Champion Simon Jean-Joseph to outright honours in the Terre De l’Auxerrois, Terre De Langres and Terres De Catalunya rounds of the series and 3rd place in the Rallye Terre des Cardabelles, but taken him to overall victory in the championship, courtesy of a 2nd place in last weekend’s (November 12/13) Terre De Vaucluse event at the wheel of his trusty Peugeot 207 S2000.
On this occasion he was only beaten by Stephane Chambon in a Subaru Impreza, which, like Jean-Joseph’s Peugeot, was shod with Kumho R900 gravel rally tyres. There was just 1/10th of a second between the duelling pair after two days of flat out competition.
Said Kumho’s European Motorsport Manager Steve Thompson: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Simon this season, who has been the first to credit the role our tyres have played in his stellar season. Despite two years away from the sport, he has clearly lost none of the raw speed that won him his two European Championships, and his achievements with the modestly-powered Peugeot have to be seen to be believed.
“By filling the top two places on last weekend’s podium, Kumho has sent a strong message to those competing in the French championship next season and it would be nice to think we can achieve the same level of success in 2012.”
A memorable year on stage and circuit
2011 has proved to be a notably successful one for Kumho’s ever-busy European motorsport department and among its many other notable achievements are supplying the tyres for:
- BTRDA Gold Star Champions, Andrew Burton and Robin Kellard – Peugeot Cosworth
- REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Champions, Damian Cole and James Morgan – Ford Focus WRC
- VLN Diesel Class Champions, Peugeot RCZ Team Nokia – Peugeot RCZ
- Irish International GpN Tarmac Rally Champions, Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy – Mitsubishi Lancer Evo
- RTL GP Masters of F3, Felix Rosenqvist – Mücke Motorsport Dallara F308 Mercedes
- F3 Euro Series Champion, Roberto Merhi – Prema Powerteam Dallara F308 Mercedes
Victory on the final round of the World Rally Championship
And the results keep flowing, with Kumho-shod cars finishing 1st, 2nd, 5th and 8th in the national section of the Wales Rally GB last weekend (November 10-13) – regular Kumho runners Roger Duckworth and Mark Broomfield were the winners in a Subaru Impreza WRC.