Burton upon Trent, September 30, 2012 – Pirelli UK driver Star Driver Jukka Korhonen claimed his first R2 class victory on the International Rally Yorkshire, the final round of the MSA British Rally Championship. Korhonen also sealed his best-ever overall finish with fifth overall against much more powerful opposition, at the wheel of his Skoda Fabia R2 run by TEG Sport.

By finishing third overall in a Citroen DS3 R3T, former Pirelli UK Star Driver Keith Cronin secured his third British Rally Championship title, which has been run exclusively on the Italian rubber since 2007. The rally winner in Yorkshire was Tom Cave, taking his second British Championship win of 2012 in another Citroen DS3 R3T. Cave finished the rally with exactly the same cumulative time as Citroen driver Osian Pryce, but was declared the winner by virtue of having gone quicker on the opening stage.

Run over two days on the epic gravel roads of North Yorkshire and the Dalby Forest, the International Rally Yorkshire provided a tough test for the drivers, cars and tyres, thanks to constantly-changing grip from the slippery gravel surface.

Korhonen commented: “I actually made a small mistake and went off on some mud during the night on Friday, so it really wasn’t easy. At the time I thought that we could be stuck and it might be all over already. But luckily we were able to get back on the road after about 20 seconds and from then on it was just a question of driving neatly but quickly. I changed my driving style a bit to get the most of the car, and even though the surface was tricky and we had some very long stages, the tyres gave us plenty of grip.”

Like all the other competitors, Korhonen used Pirelli’s renowned K6 gravel tyre, which features a medium compound that works effectively in a wide range of weather conditions. The tread pattern is especially designed to disperse loose gravel, stones and mud, which is what makes it especially effective on some of the most demanding stages in Britain.

“The K6 was the obvious choice,” said Korhonen. “The confidence that it gave us is reflected in our best-ever result and our first class win. It’s a fantastic way to end the year and I’d like to thank Pirelli for this fantastic opportunity. If it’s possible I would like to come back to the British Championship next year to capitalise on the valuable experience I have gained with Pirelli.”

Cronin concentrated on driving conservatively from start to finish in order to secure his place in the British Rally Championship’s hall of fame. “There was nothing to be gained from going flat-out,” he said. “So we just did everything we had to do, with no problems at all.”

Pirelli’s operations manager Matthew Corby commented: “On behalf of everybody at Pirelli, I’d like to congratulate Tom, Keith and Jukka: all of whom have performed magnificently on our tyres over the course of the weekend. In particular, Jukka has been able to punch above his weight in an R2 car against the R3 frontrunners. I’d like to thank TEG Sport for all the hard work they have put in over the course of this year and also previous years, which has helped us boost the careers of several young drivers, who otherwise would not have benefitted from this valuable opportunity. We now look forward to this year’s Pirelli Star Driver shoot-out, details of which will be announced in due course.”

The final Pirelli Star Driver nomination goes to Desi Henry, fourth overall in his Citroen at International Rally Yorkshire, who will go head to head with six other young drivers for the coveted 2013 Pirelli Star Driver prize. The 2013 Pirelli Star Driver will have a Citroen DS3 R3T at his disposal, funded by Pirelli for the whole of next year’s British Rally Championship season.  

This year’s championship has been being televised on Sky Sports & Sky Sports HD. Full details can be found via this link: http://www.rallybrc.co.uk/index.php/mediamenu/tv

For information on the new smartphone BRC app available for Apple and Android, please visit: http://www.rallybrc.co.uk/index.php/mediamenu/keep-in-touch

For more information about Pirelli, including the full range of Pirelli’s gravel and asphalt rally tyres, please visit: www.pirelli.com

-ENDS-

For further media information, please contact: Sarah Brown, Communications, Pirelli Ltd

Pirelli UK Tyres Ltd – +44 (0) 1283 525479 – PR Office – sarah.brown.st@pirelli.com