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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.
Issued by MG Rover Group Corporate Communications