Former Alpine Rally winner, Jack Monkhouse, tested a new gravel rally tyre from American manufacturer Hoosier at last weekend's Rally of the Bay.
Normally associated with circuit racing and speedway, Hoosier's new range of gravel rally tyres includes three 15" and two 13" options.
Monkhouse used the tyres on his Datsun 180B SSS, and as the first person to use them in an event in Australia, was happy with their performance.
"They were actually better than I expected to be perfectly honest," he told RallySport Mag.
"I was keen to try them out and must say they were very good out of the box.
"We didn't set the car up to suit them, and I ran some old Pirellis in the first group of stages, then put rears on, and then later a pair of fronts.
"They provided quite a lot of grip and wore consistently, showing signs of wear, which is a good thing.
"The stages were very boney and rough in places, but we had no problems with blisters or popping the beads," Monkhouse explained.
Australian driver, Will Orders, has driven on Hoosier tyres previously when rallying in the USA, and Monkhouse chatted to him before the Batemans Bay event about his experiences with them.
"Building on our winning line of race tyres, Hoosier offers our race proven gravel rally tyres," Hoosier says in their promotional material.
"Made with an asymmetrical tread design that delivers performance on soft and loose surfaces, moulded in sipes that aid in braking and traction while maintaining an excellent level of wear.
"Rock deflecting shoulder blocks and reinforced sidewall design offer puncture resistance. A unique sidewall design that protects the rim and sidewall from accidental impacts."
Their range also includes tarmac tyres from 15" to 18".
"The tyres have been well received in both asphalt and gravel rallying, winning events around the globe and we are very excited to see what the future holds," distributor Mitch Dumesny said.
The tyres are being distributed in Australia by Hoosier Tyre Australia and Max Dumesny Motorsport.
As for Monkhouse's plans for the rest of the season, he's hoping to contest at least one more event this year, and is eyeing the Adelaide Rally at the end of September or, alternatively, Victoria's Yarra Valley Stages in mid September.
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