• Positive debut for new DMACK hard compound tyre.
• Mechanical problems halt Elfyn Evans’ challenge.
• DMACK-backed FIA Junior WRC a success for new R2 tyres.
DMACK reported significant performance improvements from its new hard compound rally tyres after a tough fourth round of the FIA World Rally Championship saw it battle the roads of Tour de Corse.
The manic Mediterranean event allowed the new H6+ compound of the DMT-RC22 asphalt tyre to perform well in the challenging Corsican stages – characterised by relentless corners and changing Tarmac surfaces.
Scoring three fastest stage times on the roads of Rallye Monte Carlo in January, Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt came to the event searching for another strong display. But on only the second stage on Friday, their M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC lost hydraulic pressure – forcing Evans to limp through the remaining day’s three stages with limited use of the car’s differentials and gearbox.
He dropped back to 18th and ploughed further down the classification on Saturday after sliding off the road and getting stuck on the outside of a left corner. It was a rally to forget for the pair but they did complete two long stages to provide the DMACK technicians with valuable comparison data and feedback.
The new-generation DMT-RC22 had been designed for 2017’s new high-powered rally cars with a blend of both durability and performance – to tackle the expected 80km competitive loops of this ruthless rally. They were a big step forward from last season and upgrades are already planned to further improve the pace for the next sealed surface event in Germany.
There was further positive news from the opening round of the 2017 FIA Junior World Rally Championship, where DMACK is both official partner and tyre supplier. The new 16” DMT-RC2 proved ultra-competitive for the Ford Fiesta R2 cars – promoting DMACK as a leading supplier of competitive asphalt products for smaller front-wheel-drive cars.
Boasting 10 of the world’s top young rally talent, the Junior category was won by Spain’s Nil Solans with Nicolas Ciamin second and Terry Folb third.
Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “We have made some steps forward compared to 2016. The focus was very much on durability due to the forecasted 80km loops and new WRC cars, so when the loops were reduced to around 65km it didn’t work in our favour. We already have upgrades planned as we continue development, it’s just a shame Elfyn was unable to get more stages completed because of the various problems.”
Elfyn Evans, DMACK WRC driver, said: “This has always been one of my favourite events so it's disappointing not to have been in a position to have challenged for a strong result. We had problems with the car on the opening day and the mistake yesterday, so it's just not been our rally. It's not been a wasted weekend, we've learnt a lot and collected important information that we can use to be stronger at the next asphalt event. Now, the focus is very much on Argentina.”