A season ending roll on the Somerset Stages meant McClure had an enforced sabbatical from the sport, but thanks to continuous support from his backers, has spent the downtime building a new car for the 2017 season. He will return to the BTRDA Series behind the wheel of a freshly built Mitsubishi E9.
The 22 year old from Flookburgh first signed with Yokohama HPT back in 2014 and the tyre giant have supported McClure’s championship assault on the ultra-competitive BTRDA Production Cup ever since. Using the ADVAN A053 on gravel and ADVAN A051T on asphalt, he has been extremely impressed with the performance of the competition tyres and the extension of last year’s deal with the firm will see McClure using the Yokohama brand throughout his championship campaign.
“Of course last year ended up being a much quieter season than we planned but to have the support from Yokohama HPT this year is both an honour and a real boost to our Production Cup hopes” said McClure. “This will be our third year running the tyres and they really do feel perfect for the Mitsubishi, we can really get the best out of them in all conditions. I’d like to extend my thanks to Yokohama for their continued support and hopefully we can reward them with some podiums this season”.
Mark Evans, Head of Motorsport for Yokohama HPT is excited for the year ahead. “We’re delighted to welcome Aaron back to the BTRDA Series after his premature end in 2016. Yokohama is proud to be able to continue our tradition of supporting the best young motorsport talent in the country and we wish Aaron the very best of success for the forthcoming season which promises to be one of our most exciting and hotly anticipated in a number of years.”
McClure will kick off this year’s campaign with the Cambrian Rally on Saturday 11th February and after a brief tyre test in Wales last week, the 2014 John Easson Award Winner is confident of a competitive season towards the front of class N4 category. He will be joined by experienced co-driver Michael Gilbey for the event.
“It’s going to be a really tough battle at the front of the field” he says. “There is something like twelve Production Cup contenders who have entered the Cambrian and rest assured there will just a few seconds separating us all day long. I`ll have to remember we are in a new car and perhaps ease our way into the year gradually but by the same token, we need to get some decent points under our belt in the early stages of the season. It will be a fine balancing act, but I haven’t looked forward to a rally this much in many years.”