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MG RETURNS TO RALLY WITH GWYNDAF EVANS

The MG ZR Super 1600 (EX258) will make its rally debut at the opening round of the 2002 FIA Junior World Rally Championship at Monte Carlo this month with Gwyndaf Evans behind the wheel.

The car (entry no. 61) has been developed and will be managed by rally experts GSE Motorsport with Advance Engine Research (AER) responsible for the final preparation of the 1.6-litre K Series engine. Steve Bond, team manager, GSE Motorsport, said: "Everyone at GSE has been working hard for well over a year to get to this point. We are delighted with the initial performance of the car and looking forward to MG’s competition debut. We still have some refinements to make, however I am certain that results will follow before too long."

Gwyndaf will be co-driven by Ulsterman Chris Patterson and both are eager to start the 2002 campaign. Gwyndaf commented: "Come ice or snow we’re in at the deep end but I’m really looking forward to the debut of the MG ZR rally car at Monte Carlo. We had some time in the car before Christmas and will undertake further refinements before the rally. At this stage we really have an open mind as to what to expect in Monte Carlo."

This will complete MG’s trio of motorsport debuts following its return to the Le Mans 24-hour race and the British Touring Car Championship in 2001. Commenting on the rally programme, Rob Oldaker, managing director of MG Sport & Racing said: "The MG ZR Junior World Rally Car has been developed over the past months with the help of GSE. Gwyndaf Evans has been busy testing to the point where his entry into the Monte Carlo Rally spells the return of MG cars to the spectacular scene of world class rallying.

"We expect to see Gwyndaf compete in the Super 1600 series this year and are looking for the same amazing impact as we achieved with our BTCC and Le Mans efforts in 2001. This represents the next exciting motorsport story for MG."



The event takes place 17-20 January and also celebrates the 70th anniversary of the rally. The rally commences on Friday 18 January and covers a total distance of 1461.28 km over 15 stages.
 
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At long last Gwyndath is going to show us how to drive tractors, sorry the Super 1600 in what they now call the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC). As soon as the main site at www.xpower-mg.com has moved servers I will add additional information for all to see! :)

When on Form he is an excellent driver - MGR & GSE had had over a year to sort the car, so expectations must be high! I wish him the very best.
 

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Additional info on the Junior World Rally Championship added to the home website. Including the years itinary, a description of JWRC and this years Monte Stages!

JWRC

Jerry
 
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Dave

It looks like bust. Gwyndafs stopped and his car is abandoned.

See http://www.acm.mc/rallye/acm-rallye.php

Stage ONE

After blasting through the opening stage of the 2002 Monte Carlo Rally sixth quickest in the tightly-fought JWRC category, the crew of the MG ZR rally car, Gwyndaf Evans and Chris Patterson, had nothing but praise for the first competitive test of their new mount.

“It was a very difficult opening stage,” said Gwyndaf, “with about 8km of slippery ice, and quite a debut for the MG ZR to say the least!

“I was pleasantly surprised with the way the car was handling on the stage, and though we had a minor problem mid-stage, it didn't seem to hinder us. We were really pleased with how the MG ZR was going towards the end of the stage, and to be sixth quickest in the JWRC virtually straight out of the box with such a new car is great.

“This just shows what massive potential the MG ZR has.”

Co-driver Chris Patterson agreed, praising the GSE Motorsport team who have developed the MG ZR rally car: “The car went well and we were pleased with the time. It shows how hard the whole team has worked to get us here.”

Stage THREE

The Monte Carlo Rally challenge of Gwyndaf Evans and Chris Patterson came to an end on stage three of the rally - the second competitive stage after the second stage of the day was cancelled - when the car left the road and was unable to continue. After being sixth in class on the opening stage of the testing rally, the GSE Motorsport-developed MG ZR was second quickest on the split times for stage three before being caught out by a patch of gravel at high-speed.

“It was going really well and the car was quick,” explained Gwyndaf. “We were second quickest on the split time up until that point, then the car stepped out violently on some gravel, we were unable to recover, and ended up on our roof in a ditch. The pace of the MG ZR shows that there is so much more to come from this car, and it's a shame we didn't get to prove that right here.”

“It's disappointing for the rally to be over so quickly for Gwyndaf,” said Brian Griffin, Manager, Motorsport, for MG. “The car has real potential and was going well - but this has already proved to be a rally of attrition.”

Stage three was a repeat of the morning's opening stage, a 28.7km climb on narrow mountain roads above Monaco.

The Monte Carlo Rally was the debut event for the new MG ZR rally car, which will be contesting the entire 2002 Junior World Rally Championship, to be held on six major rallies across Europe. Next JWRC event for the car and crew will be the Rallye Catalunya, to be held in Spain, which begins on March 22.
 
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