KUMHO-Shod cars dominate Circuit of Ireland rally

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The Kumho-shod Skoda Fabia WRC of Eugene Donnelly/Paddy Toner won last weekend’s (April 11/12) 14-stage Larsen Circuit of Ireland Rally by over three-quarters of a minute. Having also taken victory on the Galway International Rally in January, Donnelly, who rejoined the Kumho Tyres fold for the 2009 season, is understandably already being tipped to win his fifth Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

Also on Kumho rubber was the fifth-placed Subaru Impreza WRC of Darren Gass/Diarmuid Falvey and the eighth-placed (and second in Group N) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 of Rory Byrne/Jeremy Patterson – Byrne is a director of Kumho’s Northern Ireland distributor, Modern Tyre Service, and Patterson is an account manager there.

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National Category A
The event also marked the second round of the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship, in which Kumho-shod cars filled no less than the first three places of Category A.

First home was the Subaru Impreza WRC of Melvyn Evans/Sean Mullally. Just under three minutes behind was the similar car of David Mann/Alun Cook, despite a few minutes of excitement on the last Saturday stage when an unexpected downpour caught the pair on slick tyres. Completing the victorious trio was the ever-competitive Audi A3 Quattro of Kynaston/Russell, the team having fought-back valiantly after losing some four minutes to throttle cable problems early in the event.

Said the Manager of Kumho’s European Motorsport Division, Steve Thompson, “This was clearly a memorable weekend for us. We are used to seeing Donnelly flying on our tyres but were delighted to have so many other top drivers using Kumho rubber to such good effect.”