20

December 2016

By Tom Shattock

Posted in Motorsports

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2016: A Successful Year for Kumho in Motorsport

At Kumho, we invest heavily in R&D, as well as boasting up-to-the-minute facilities on three continents. An integral part of this process is motorsport, which is why Kumho are prominent in several competition disciplines, not least racing, rallying and autocross.

There are some final results of  various championships that are yet to be decided, but the year has undoubtedly been another successful one on all fronts. Have a look at what we’ve been up to this year:

 

Racing

Single-seater categories

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The 2016 Zandvoort Masters of F3

The Zandvoort Masters event remains the blue riband of European F3 racing, for which Kumho has supplied all the tyres for the last 15 years – this year the choice was between ECSTA S700 slicks and ECSTA W700 wets. By winning the 2016 final, Swede Joel Eriksson is following in the wheel tracks of current F1 stars triple World Champion Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hülkenburg.

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Ye Yifei, French F4 series winner

You can check out a video of the event here.

Kumho has also been the sole tyre supplier to the French F4 series for a number of years. A truly international category, it was won this season by 16-year old Chinese talent Ye Yifei, who was victorious in no less than 14 of the 23 races.

 

Saloon formulae and events

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Class-winning BMW at Nürburgring 24 hour race

Kumho’s tyres have an enviable record around the Nürburgring Nordschleife’s incomparable 12.9 miles of twists and turns, and this year it was further enhanced when Kumho-shod entries achieved 2 class victories and two 3rd places in the gruelling annual 24 hour race.

This was also the 19th consecutive year that Kumho has supported the UK’s popular BMW Saloon Championship, and the second for which it has successfully provided the powerful Class A cars with the option of slicks and wet weather tyres.

Further afield Kumho has continued to supply all the tyres for such major national competitions as the Australian V8 Touring Car and Chinese Touring Car championships. 

 

Rallying

Wales

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Fowden/Wakely, Welsh Tarmac Champions

Competitors have been winning national rally championships on Kumho tyres for very many years and the latest to do so are Bob Fowden and Paul Wakely, who clinched the 2016 JD Tyres Welsh National Tarmacadam Rally Championship aboard their Subaru Impreza WRC with one round to spare.

Winter Olympic medallist Amy Williams MBE this year successfully completed her second Wales Rally GB as co-driver to Kumho stalwart and Sky Sports’ F1 analyst Tony Jardine. They survived a last stage scare to finish a very creditable 39th overall among the world’s best rally teams. Tony’s 23rd finish on the event surpasses that of 1983 World Rally Champion Hannu Mikkola and is only three less than was achieved by the legendary Stig Blomqvist.

Ireland

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Garry Jennings, Galway Rally winner

Some of the Irish championships in which Kumho is involved are yet to be concluded, but regular Kumho ambassador and 2013 Irish Rally Champion Garry Jennings kicked off the season in typical style by winning the Galway International event outright in his Subaru Impreza, as well as the first round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship; the Mayo Stages.

 

The second Triton showers event was also won by a Kumho-shod car – the Ford Fiesta WRC of Donegal rallying cousins Declan and Brian Boyle.

 

France

Following in the footsteps of 2011 French Gravel Rally Champion Simon Jean-Joseph, Arnaud Mordacq finished the 2016 series undefeated in Group N and overall runner-up with his Kumho-tyred Mitsubishi Evo 9.

 

Autocross

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Florent Tafani, FIA Autocross champion

Kumho has frequently shone in both rallycross and autocross and this year won the FIA Autocross Championship courtesy of Frenchman Florent Tafani, who clinched the Buggy 1600cc class at his home circuit of Saint-Igny-De-Vers by beating no less than 38 fellow competitors to the flag. For the purpose, his Peters Suzuki was equipped with ECSTA R800 gravel tyres – soft K33 compound ones on the front and harder K71 versions on the rear.

“Some manufacturers achieve wins and podium places by concentrating on one particular branch of the sport. Kumho has always been prepared to tackle a range of disciplines and, as this year, has a habit of achieving notable results in them all. It is this breadth of experience in the heat of competition that has helped to make our latest range of high-performance road tyres among the very best on the market.” Kumho Motorsport’s Steve Thompson