Return to Rallying

MG offers the MG ZR EX258

In the last issue of British Motoring, we told you about MG’s return to Le Mans with the MG Lola EX257. MG was also successful in the first scheduled race at Silverstone in the TOCA Tour series, which resulted in 5th and 7th positions. Now MG is eyeing a foray into rallying.

The car to get the call is the MG ZR EX258 project in the new Formula 3 Super 1600 category. Rally experts GSE Motorsport are responsible for vehicle development and management, and the car will be driven by Gwyndaf Evans (1996 British rally champion). AER will again prepare the 1.6-liter K-Series engine. Testing began in June.

Steve Bond, team manager, GSE Motorsport, said, “The MG ZR is a very well balanced car and provides an excellent platform from which to build. The regulations for the Super 1600cc category are very clearly defined by the FIA, making it possibly the most rigid category that there is at present. That means that the leeway in terms of car design is limited, making it a fairly level playing field that we are entering.”

Summing up the MG X Power motorsport program for 2001, Rob Oldaker, managing director of MG Sport & Racing, said, “Everyone involved has a very high level of motivation and determination. We have some formidable combinations of machinery and people, and we are very hungry for success.”

The impact of the Foot and Mouth outbreak has, however, caused a re-evaluation of the MG ZR EX258 rally car debut. Despite highly encouraging development of the rally car, it has now been decided to delay its first formal outing until early next year. A program for 2002 will be advised in due course.

Commenting on the race and rally program, Oldaker said, “Given the limited development time, we have taken great pride in our successes at Le Mans and the TOCA Tour, which is a tribute to all those involved. Rallying has been badly affected this year and it is sensible that we now plan on commencing our program in the early part of 2002.”

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