It was an encouraging start to the season for the Yokohama-backed Harper Adams Motorsport team at this weekend’s Cambrian Rally, the opening round of the 2020 BRC and BTRDA Rally Series.
The team, which is run and managed entirely by students from Harper Adams University in Shropshire, gained some valuable testing at Sweet Lamb last week in their Ford Fiesta M-Sport R2T. During the test, the team evaluated a harder compound of Yokohama’s A053 gravel rally tyre than they had previously used, which had a positive impact on levels of grip and performance.
With the new tyre combination confirmed, the team started Saturday’s rally full of confidence and optimism. Driver Gareth Clarke and co-driver Jack Clements safely piloted the Fiesta around the first four stages without incident, and the team sat in seventh position of the R2 class.
However, on the way to stage 5, the team suffered a mechanical problem which resulted in their retirement from the rally.
Speaking after the event, driver Gareth Clarke said, “Although it was a disappointing and premature end to the rally for us, we are really pleased with how the week has gone. The new Yokohama tyres gave us way better grip and the confidence to push on. We’ve got lots of new guys on the team and they did a fantastic job in service. We’ve obviously got some work to do on the car now before our next event, but I’m sure we’ll come back strong for this one.”
The team resume their challenge on 14thMarch at the Malcolm Wilson Rally in the Lake District.
For more information about Yokohama’s range of tyres for rally and other competition cars, visit www.yokohama.co.uk.