UNDETTERED by a mere 9km of experience in a four wheel drive S2000 Fiesta McCormack soon found the pace of the Hankook Fiesta S2000 holding a solid 12th place for much of the rally and delivering a competitive and mature performance for PS Engineering and Hankook Tyres.
However, Corsica was not just about stage times. With temperatures soaring to nearly 30 degrees and track temperatures in the mid forties Corsica provided ideal conditions for Hankook engineers to acquire invaluable data about the performance of their rally tyres.
McCormack said “禅The unrelenting right-left-right and abrasive surface of every stage really punishes tyres and gave us the opportunity to change and assess the effect of a number of different settings of suspension.
McCormack continued “ I found working with the engineers in that way really made me think about how I was driving the car and I have learned so much myself over the weekend. It has been a terrific experience all round and one which I am truly thankful to Hankook and PS Engineering for making happen.”
PS Engineering team manager Graham Clayton said, “Marty was absolutely fantastic and he adapted to the car and the tyres really well. He started the event 2.2seconds per kilometre off the pace of (IRC points leader) Andreas Mikkelsen and got that down to 1.2s/km, and that is superb progress.”
Petter Solberg, former World Rally Champion and the owner of PSE, said, “Marty was super, he did everything we asked of him and brought the car back in one piece on probably the most demanding event of the IRC!”
McCormack came in seventeenth overall, a large rock brought out into the track on stage 4, leading to a double puncture and over four minutes dropped, ended any hope of a higher finish placing.
McCormack feels the one-off drive has only left him wanting more. Marty added, ”The Hankook/ PS Engineering Team are first class and the car is a great step up in pace. It has been designed as a rally car rather than a conversion from a road car and that is very obvious in the sharpness of its response. It痴is all very addictive just leaves you wanting more! I know the pace
is there to challenge at the front.’
The Tour de Corse is a round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge and takes place on the exceptionally twisty tarmac roads of the French island of Corsica. It enjoys extensive live television coverage on Eurosport. The event ran from the 9th to the 12th of May.
You can keep up to date with Marty痴 progress and see some of the amazing onboard footage from the weekend at www.martymccormack.com or by visiting www.youtube.com/ martymccormackrally. Marty can be followed on twitter @martymccormack