Hankook scores IRC success in Belgium
- Fifth overall for Andreas Mikkelsen in Hankook Ford Fiesta S2000
- First points for Hankook in Intercontinental Rally Challenge
Daventry, UK, July 2 2010 – Hankook is celebrating success on the world rally stage after its IRC driver Andreas Mikkelsen finished fifth overall on the Geko Ypres Rally.
The rising Norwegian star, who turned 21 on the eve of the rally, produced a faultless run on the tough two day event.
It was the first time Mikkelsen had contested the rally and it was also the asphalt debut of the M-Sport prepared Hankook Ford Fiesta S2000.
“This is a great result for the whole team,’’ said Hankook UK motorsport manager Mike Patterson, who is responsible for the Hankook IRC-project. “Everyone has worked so hard putting this programme together, testing has gone extremely well and now we are seeing the results of all this meticulous preparation.Fifth overall is a remarkable achievement on our first asphalt rally and we look forward to scoring even more points as the season progresses.’’
For Mikkelsen and co-driver Ole Fløene, the event was about learning the rally and ensuring a strong finish against established IRC contenders.
“I’m very happy with my result here. It was not easy to drive on these roads as a rookie. I’m sure I can go faster next time I will be here”, said Mikkelsen.
“Our goal was top six this weekend so fifth is great, and everything run just as planned. We had no problems with the car, the only problem was lack of experience on these very difficult roads.’’
Extensive testing with the Hankook tyres before the event ensured the team was ready for any weather and the tyres performed well in the hot, dry conditions.
“The first day ran late into the evening so weather conditions cooled during the leg but on day two stages ran throughout the day so tyre choice was crucial as the temperatures rose and then fell towards the end of the rally,’’ said Mike.
The Hankook team will be back in action next month when the IRC moves back onto the gravel for the Sata Rallye Açores which runs from 15-17 July.
Planned programme of events:
Rally d´Italia Sardegna
Geko Ypres Rally
Sata Rally Açores
Barum Czech Rally Zlín
Asphalt / Gravel
RAC MSA Rally of Scotland
FxPro Cyprus Rally
Asphalt / Gravel