With difficult and unpredictable weather conditions throughout, Kumho tyres played a pivotal role in Garry Jennings’s dominant victory on the Topaz Donegal International Rally last weekend (June 15-17). Partnered by local man Neil Doherty, Jennings blitzed the opposition and finished 1 minute 21 seconds clear of second-placed man Seamus Leonard. Kumho ambassador Jennings is now putting Irish Tarmac Rally Championship leader Darren Gass under considerable pressure, having closed within eight points of the top spot.
Although the man to beat in Group N, it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that Jennings would cope with the switch to a WRC-specification car, but he made it look easy. He only managed one test before the event, but seemed at home from the outset in the Melvyn Evans Motorsport-prepared Impreza S14, his fastest time on stage one setting the tone for the rest of the event.
“This model of Prodrive rally car was considered to have been uncompetitive in the wet during the Galway Rally,” commented a buoyant Jennings, “but I hope we’ve helped redeem its status somewhat this weekend. The Kumho tyres have worked exceptionally well with the varying conditions and given me great confidence.”
The Voodoo-sponsored Subaru was primarily shod with Kumho TW02 intermediates/wets, but the team confounded the opposition at the start of day two by using cut C03 slicks, when everybody else opted for the safe choice of full wets. The resulting stage win further extended Jennings’s lead and confirmed how the right tyre choice will always pay dividends.
“If ever you needed confirmation that tyres can make the difference between winning and losing, then this was it,” declared a jubilant Steve Thompson, Kumho’s European Motorsport Manager. “Although Garry is an acknowledged rainmeister, he still needed tyres that gave him the confidence to push when it mattered, and push he did. It was a great drive in very challenging conditions.”