Hone makes R5 step for Irish Forest Rally Championship

Jordan Hone will take his ex-Declan Boyle Ford Fiesta R5 to gravel for the first time on Sunday’s Killarney Forestry Rally. The 2018 Billy Coleman Award finalist is focusing on the Irish Forest Rally Championship in 2022.

“There are some new rallies in the championship,” said Hone. “We are looking forward to the challenge of competing on them in a car that is new to us.

“I’ve been itching to get out in the car ever since we got it towards the end of 2021.

“There is plenty of competition this year so hopefully that will help us get up to speed quickly as well.”

Hone hasn’t rallied since finishing ninth overall on 2020’s Carrick-on-Suir Forest Rally in his previous car, an Opel Adam R2. But a Billy Coleman Award prize-drive in a Fiesta R5 on the 2019 Cork 20 Rally at least gives the 26-year-old some grounding in R5 machinery.

“Naturally enough, competing on gravel for the first time in an R5 will be completely different to driving on tarmac,” admitted Hone. “But seat-time is seat-time and even though it was just one tarmac rally, I hope that experience will help us feel comfortable from the start.

“We had a short gravel test in the car after Christmas to help get a feel for driving four-wheel-drive on gravel again.

“There was not so much running as we spent some time changing settings, particularly on front and rear differentials, to see what worked and more importantly what didn’t work.

“That can only help us as we get up to speed in the car over the first few events.”

Hone, who is co-driven by his Father – Paul, also has plans to sample some asphalt rallies this year.

For now, however, his focus is on gravel and getting a strong start to a championship that lies close to his heart.

Subscribe for free to receive more stories like this direct to your mailbox

“It’s nice to be back competing again in the Irish Forest Championship. We always love competing in it as it is close to home, the rallies are always well organised with great stages, and the championship has a real family feel to it.

“It’s also great to see a lot of support for the championship as well, especially with the popularity of the J1000 class which has its highest entry ever for the first round in Killarney.

“Seeing the organisers’ efforts get a nice return in J1000 is brilliant so early in the season.

“In terms of results, I have no real expectation. Our aim is to finish, get some experience, build up our speed as the day goes along, and most importantly, enjoy it.

“If we can be there or thereabouts that will be a bonus, but first and foremost is to get a finish under our belts.”

Killarney Forestry Rally gets underway at 10:30 on Sunday morning with the first of six stages that total over 60 competitive kilometres.

Photos by Philip Stewart (philpics.net)

Adam Hall

Brought up in the Irish countryside, Adam was never far away from the world of rallying. From following local events like the Circuit of Ireland and the Ulster Rally, Adam now puts the stories from stages all around the world into words through his website Rally Insight.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: