The Pirelli TEG Sport team kicked off their 2012 campaign with drivers Jukka Korhonen and Arron Newby enduring mixed fortunes on last weekend’s Rallye Sunseeker.
Conditions were dry and the stages were the usual sandy, boggy type with long straights and tight corners which meant is was suited to the higher powered R3 cars but despite the handicap, 27-year-old Korhonen, who won last year’s Pirelli UK Star Driver award, set a fourth fastest time and was first R2 on several stages, as he put in a strong performance against the R3s. The Finn battled with Elfyn Evans, swapping times and meaning it was very close all day, but as he went into the final stage chasing the Welshman for third place, the electronic throttle on the Pirelli-backed Skoda Fabia R2 failed.
17-year-old Newby, from Carnforth, had a good steady run, focusing on the finish rather than setting stage times but as the day progressed, he was setting more consistent times to bring the Robert Wiseman Dairies-sponsored Skoda Fabia R2 home in a fantastic 13th overall and seventh in class as well as scoring points for Pirelli TEG Sport.
Arron Newby: “This is my dream to be able to compete on the MSA British Rally Championship, the whole experience from the start to finish was exceptional. It offers the whole package, from recce to the ceremonial start with thousands of people turning out to see the cars and teams. I really enjoyed the stages even though the aim is to get to the finish of events in my first year which I did, I am so grateful to my sponsors and to everyone at TEG Sport for their hard work.”
Jukka Korhonen: “I am very happy with the speed of the Skoda and its performance, we all know it’s the first International gravel rally that it has been used on and it is very unfortunate we suffered a technical failure on the last stage with the electronic throttle pedal. I am looking forward to the Bulldog Rally as I feel our performance there will be very strong in this car. I am also grateful to Pirelli and TEG Sport, I have found it very easy in this country to work with such professional people.”
Stuart Newby: “Obviously I am a little disappointed that Jukka had a problem with the electronic throttle in sight of the finish line, as during the rally he set some top R2 stage times, was leading his class and was up at third overall during the day. We are really pleased with the Skoda Fabia R2 and the overall package it offers means it will be an exciting year ahead. Arron did exactly what he was asked to do and get to the finish of the rally, he has a lot of years ahead competing and we have told him it is extremely important in his first year to gain as much experience as he can on such a prestigious championship and to bring the car home in 13th overall and score team points was a bonus.”
Pictures (courtesy of Jakob Ebrey), Arron Newby and Jukka Korhonen in action on Rallye Sunseeker.
Further information and results from the event can be found at http://www.rallyesunseeker.co.uk and for information on the team, drivers and championship, please visit: http://www.tegsport.co.uk, http://www.arronnewby.com, http://www.jukkakorhonen.net and http://www.rallybrc.co.uk.
2012 MSA British Rally Championship
Round 1 – 24/25 February – Rallye Sunseeker International Rally, Bournemouth
Round 2 – 23/24 March – Bulldog International Rally North Wales – Welshpool, Powys
Round 3 – 27/28 April – Pirelli International Rally – Carlisle, Cumbria
Round 4 – 1/3 June – Jim Clark International Rally – Duns, Scottish Borders
Round 5 – 17/18 August – Toddsleap International Rally NI – Antrim, Northern Ireland
Round 6 – 28/29 September – International Rally Yorkshire – North Yorkshire