Jordan Hone’s Galloway Hills Rally ended in disappointment after he retired from a leading position with just three stages remaining.
The Opel Adam R2 driver was leading the Junior British Rally Championship class by 1.3 seconds when the Opel’s rear-wheel dropped into a ditch on the outside of a long, tightening right-hand bend. It was a sickening end to Hone’s debut year in the BRC which showed his pace and ability on numerous occasions but was blighted by misfortune.
“The ditch bounced us back out violently,” explains Hone. “Launching us into the air and down into the ditch on the other side of the road. It was really a strange off to be honest as, in normal circumstances, dropping a wheel into a ditch like we did can be quite normal and nothing bad happens. I guess it was one of those things and our luck was against us this time.”
Hone was able to continue through the stage but decided to retire the Adam when it became clear that the collision had damaged the car’s radiator and brake lines.
The first half of the day couldn’t have gone much better for Hone and new co-driver Keaton Williams. The pair took control at the front of the JBRC when William Creighton dropped out of the lead on Stage 2 following a puncture. Hone controlled his lead between SS2 and SS5, adjusting to Galloway Hill’s challenging gravel stages.
“Stages 1 and 2 were incredibly difficult to start the rally, especially with a new co-driver. It was difficult to get a rhythm in the stage as it was slippery and very technical. Keaton did a great job right out of the blocks and the car was working well, so my confidence began to grow with every corner.
“The nature of Stages 3 and 4 were more suited to me and the car so we pushed on and managed to extend our lead in the class going into the first service.
“With some new Michelin tyres fitted in service we had a good run on Stage 5, but with a mile to go from the end, I felt like the car had a slow puncture so I just backed off slightly to get to the end. Thankfully it wasn’t anything major and we only lost 0.4 seconds from our lead. We intended to try and take that advantage back in the afternoon loop, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.”
The 2018 Billy Coleman Award runner-up can take a lot from his experiences in an extremely competitive year in the JBRC. Hone has recorded fastest stage times on every round and has challenged for the win on many of them.
“No matter what events we do in 2020, the ups and downs that we have had as a team in 2019 will help us in the future. I feel like there is unfinished business in the BRC so I’d like to compete in it in some sort of capacity in the future. No matter what, I really want to go out next year and enjoy my rallying.”
Hone has hinted that we’ll be seeing more of him in the near future. Keep your eyes peeled to find out what exciting plans he still has up his sleeves!
Jordan would like to thank sponsors Premier Car Parts, Rallyhire, Curley Cars and TOC Utilities for their incredible support through what has been a very busy season. He also wishes to thank Motorsport Ireland, all those involved in the Billy Coleman Award and the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy as well as everyone else who has supported him along the way.