DMACK’s Winning Charge Hampered By Event Timing

DMACK’s Winning Charge Hampered By Event Timing

Despite leading the third round of the MSA British Rally Championship and setting a string of fastest stage times over the weekend, DMACK’s Elfyn Evans and Craig Parry were hindered by timing regulations in their charge for victory on the Pirelli Carlisle Rally.

Using DMACK’s new DMG+2 gravel tyres, built in the UK for the first time, the pair were awarded fastest times on all but one special stage. However, due to rules limiting average speeds, their race to the top step of the podium was thwarted as they finished third in a Ford Fiesta R5.

Championship leader Evans, from Dolgellau in Wales, was quick out of the blocks for the DMACK British Rally Team – a little too quick in fact. A total of four drivers beat the ‘bogey time’ for the opening stage, a minimum time set by the rally organisers based on a limited average speed for gravel rallies. Despite completing the stage faster, all four were handed the nominal bogey time.

Displaying their rally-winning speed, Evans and Parry blasted through the second stage 7.2 seconds quicker than their nearest rival to take the early rally lead. But they dropped back to fifth after clobbering a rock and damaging a front wheel and tyre on the next test.

Undeterred, the charge was on and the pair blitzed the opposition, clawing back 12 seconds to rally leader Fredrik Ahlin on stage four through Pundershaw. However, Evans had beaten the bogey time again by an unbelievable 27 seconds – one of six drivers to do so. Receiving the nominal time again instead of his stage-winning time meant he was disadvantaged in his fight-back.

Rally organisers decided to issue an overnight statement on the situation and controversially added three chicanes to today’s stages in a bid to bring down the speeds. However, 13 drivers still managed to beat the bogey time on stage six.

It was a disappointing set of circumstances and, even though Evans was fastest again by over eight seconds on the final test, he was forced to settle for third – making it three different tyre manufacturers on the podium.

Max Vatanen and French co-driver JJ Renucci had an encouraging run on their debut drive through the Kielder Forest stages. Vatanen is still a relative rookie in four-wheel-drive but he progressed well to finish tenth overall.

It’s only his second event in the Fiesta R5 but Vatanen was keen to complete the mileage to boost his experience on the tricky, high-speed stages – renowned for catching drivers out with their deep ditches and blind crests.

It was a strong home event for tyre manufacturer DMACK, setting the most amount of fastest times over the weekend. DMACK-equipped Matt Edwards extended his lead in BRC2 after taking a dominant win in the category while Donnie MacDonald made a last minute switch to DMACK to win the BRC National Rally Cup.

Rob Duggan took victory in the DMACK Junior British Rally Championship for the second time while round one winner Gus Greensmith was second.

Elfyn Evans said: “While we were fastest over most of the event, the problem on stage three knocked us back and the timing issue made our fight-back even harder, so we weren’t able to challenge for the win. It’s an unfortunate situation as we are there to compete against each other and on this occasion it just wasn’t possible. Once again the roads were great fun to drive on and the car and tyres both worked well.”

Max Vatanen said: “It was nice to be back on gravel again and these stages in Kielder were a really big challenge. It was important for me to get this experience and, once I was more confident after the first few stages, we were able to increase our speed and push some more. We made good progress today but it was definitely a fast, tricky rally.”

Glenn Patterson, DMACK British Rally Team manager, said: “We’ve had an impressive debut for the new DMACK gravel tyre, setting fastest times in direct competition with the other tyre manufacturers. It’s a shame that didn’t translate into a better result for Elfyn and we hope organisers of future events take appropriate steps to ensure this situation isn’t repeated.”


DMACK’s Winning Charge Hampered By Event Timing
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