DMACK Introduces Upgraded Gravel Tyres For Portugal

DMACK Introduces Upgraded Gravel Tyres For Portugal

FIA World Rally Championship tyre supplier DMACK will bring a new range of UK-made gravel tyres to next week’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal, round five of the world series. And, for the first time, the British firm has developed products specifically for both world rally cars and R5 specification machines.

The FIA regulations allow tyre manufacturers to change the specification of homologated tyres once during the season. DMACK has taken the opportunity to introduce new soft and hard options of its DMG+2 tyre for both WRC and WRC 2 competitors.

The DMACK World Rally Team crew of Ott Tänak and co-driver Raigo Mõlder ensured the old tyre went out on a high after setting fastest time through the iconic El Condor stage on the final day of Rally Argentina last month. And they will be aiming for a repeat performance in Portugal – on stages they like and remember well from last season.

For WRC cars like Tänak’s Ford Fiesta RS WRC, DMACK has introduced two new compounds, the GS61 soft and the GH21 hard – with the hard being nominated as the primary choice next week. WRC drivers are permitted a maximum of 24 pieces over the weekend.

In WRC 2, the Drive DMACK Trophy Team is fielding two M-Sport-run Ford Fiesta R5 cars. As part of their huge prize drive, last year’s Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy winners Marius Aasen and Veronica Engan from Norway will be joined by Estonians Sander Pärn and new co-driver Martin Järveoja for round two of their campaign.

Both crews haven’t competed since Rally Sweden in February but will be looking to use their experience of this event in 2015 to score a solid finish in WRC 2. They will test on Monday to finalise preparation ahead of the event.

WRC 2 competitors will also use the GS61 soft compound gravel tyre alongside the all-new GH42 hard option – developed specifically for R5 cars. They have a maximum of 22 tyres to use during the event. The DMG+2 tyre has traditionally been a top performer on soft surfaces but it’s also been designed to offer durability on the abrasive roads in northern Portugal.

The stages around the Porto and Fafe regions will see competitors tackle a mix of fast, sandy tracks alongside some technical roads over a mountain area. The region has a crazy base of motorsport fans and organisers are expecting the stages to be swamped with spectators eager to catch the action.

After a start in Guimares on Thursday night and a 3.36km super-special stage at Lousada, the rally moves north for a three-stage loop near the Spanish border on Friday. Saturday includes two passes over the 37.67km Amarante test to the east before Sunday sees the return of the iconic Fafe stage, which is steeped in WRC history.

Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “We’ve had a number of strong events so far this year but Portugal marks the start of the traditional European summer rounds. After a series of tests earlier this year, we’ve decided upon new specifications for our gravel tyres and, importantly, developed products specific to WRC 2 cars. We’re looking forward to debuting our new products next week on some tough and technical stages.”

Ott Tänak said: “Rally Portugal is one of my favourite events of the season and I’ve done the rally quite a few times now. Since moving north it’s still a relatively new event but the stages are identical to last year so that’s a benefit. I’m looking forward to see how the new tyres perform. We’ve still got a bit to learn and the pace this year in WRC is pretty fast – but once again we will be driving as hard as we can.”

Marius Aasen said: “I’m really looking forward to the rally, my first gravel event in the Fiesta R5 this year. I remember how rough the roads were last year and we had to be very careful in the R2 car, so this will be a much different experience. We’re testing on Monday so that will be very important to get back up to speed again as we haven’t been competing since Sweden in Febraury. It’s also the first time we are using pacenotes from last year, it will be good to have two proper recce runs.”

Sander Pärn said: “It’s my second season with the R5 car and we’re aiming to improve on the pace from last year. I’ve got a new co-driver for this season and our aim is to really give this our best shot right from the start – so it’s a benefit that the stages are the same as last year. We haven’t done much since Sweden but I will be doing some driving in Estonia today and then we have a test in Portugal on Monday.”


DMACK Introduces Upgraded Gravel Tyres For Portugal
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