Best Winter Finish As DMACK Nets Top Five In SwedenFebruary 16, 2016
DMACK posted its best-ever finish on snow, and its best overall result in three years, after another top performance from DMACK World Rally Team’s Ott Tänak and Raigo Mõlder on the second round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) at Rally Sweden this weekend.
Estonian Tänak finished fifth overall, helping DMACK to consolidate its fifth position in the battle for the WRC manufacturers’ championship, and ensuring the tyre manufacturer finished second only to Michelin on the dramatic event.
Rally Sweden is the only winter round of the world championship and competitors used DMACK’s specialised, rally-winning DMG-ICE tyre. With a unique V-style tread pattern and 384 metal pins, it’s perfectly designed for frozen conditions and took a dominant 1-2 in WRC 2 last year.
It’s one of DMACK’s most advanced products with a huge number of technical variables, including stud length, drilling method and glue type, all determining the final performance outcome.
However, this week’s edition was the toughest in recent years due to the absence of snow and ice. Concerns that the gravel roads would rip the metal studs from tyres and create a safety risk caused rally organisers to cancel nine of the 21 stages, mainly from Saturday and Sunday’s itinerary.
Even with the challenging conditions and lack of winter weather, DMACK’s ice tyre performed exceptionally well – delivering a high level of stud retention to help Tänak challenge for stage wins and score a top-five result. He was narrowly pipped to a stage victory on the tricky second pass through the Röjden test on Friday, being edged out by just 1.3 seconds.
In addition to Tänak securing his best result of the season so far at the wheel of his M-Sport-run Ford Fiesta RS WRC, it was also the first event for the two-car Drive DMACK Trophy Team in the support WRC 2 series.
Norwegians Marius Aasen and Veronica Engan, current Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy champions, kicked off their huge prize drive season with eighth place in their Fiesta R5. Team-mates Sander Pärn and James Morgan were less fortunate, retiring with an overheating engine on the opening day. They rejoined the event but slid off the road just metres from the finish line today.
While this year’s Rally Sweden moved south to the city of Karlstad, the special stages were held much further north. Friday featured two loops of stages, which stretched across the border to Norway and were generally well coated with snow.
However, Saturday and Sunday stages were very different with much more gravel making conditions pretty extreme.
Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “The talk this weekend was all about the extreme conditions and how tyres would cope with the lack of snow and ice. However, our winter tyre has benefitted from a number of developments this year and was really competitive in the proper winter conditions on Friday. It also coped remarkably well in the worst of the gravel with virtually no loss of studs.”
Ott Tänak said: “It’s another strong result for us on what was a very hard rally. I really enjoyed Friday a lot, the conditions were good and we were able to push for top times and a podium position. Saturday was more difficult and the stages were so fast that it was important to be careful. Again we didn’t make any mistakes so overall it’s been a strong start to the championship for us.”