WRC A FULL 2016
DMACK Delighted With Top WRC Finish.
British tyre manufacturer DMACK has scored its best-ever FIA World Rally Championship result and its first podium after a giant-killing performance at Rally Poland.
3 July 2016
Leading for the majority of DMACK’s 70th WRC event, Estonians Ott Tänak and co-driver Raigo Mõlder finished second after a dramatic final day. Despite being denied a remarkable maiden victory, the result positioned DMACK as a major player in global motorsport after becoming one of a handful of tyre manufacturers to lead a WRC event.
In their M-Sport-run Ford Fiesta RS WRC, Tänak and Mõlder set nine fastest stage times after dominating the time-sheets against the world’s top drivers and teams. But in a cruel twist of luck, they dropped time in the penultimate test today, which was run in horrendous conditions after torrential rain. Their overnight 21-second lead was turned on its head as they eventually finished runners-up.
After setting five fastest stage times on Friday’s opening day, the pair held a slender 4.2 second overnight lead. Then on Saturday morning, they blitzed the opening loop of stages, setting fastest times on all three high-speed tests, and extending the gap at the top to 21.3 seconds.
But today’s final four stages were turned into rough, muddy tracks and Tänak was one of a number of drivers to drop time after clouting a rock, damaging his wheel and tyre and robbing him of a debut win.
In addition to his blisteringly fast speed, Tänak’s secret weapon was DMACK’s new range of British-built rally tyres. In partnership with the Avon Motorsport arm of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co Europe, DMACK has undertaken an intense development programme and introduced upgraded gravel tyres in May.
Targeting Rally Poland as a potential event to challenge the top manufacturer teams, DMACK’s gamble paid off. On some of the season’s fastest and most-challenging roads, and watched by hundreds of thousands of passionate rally fans, DMACK and Tänak stunned everyone with their pace.
In the WRC 2 support series, Karl Kruuda and Martin Järveoja had been setting top-three times before a burst oil pipe sidelined them on Saturday. Norwegians Marius Aasen and Veronica Engan also retired after a heavy accident damaged their Fiesta R5 beyond event repair.
Northern Ireland’s Jon Armstrong and co-driver Noel O’Sullivan won round two of the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy but the first prize drives in next season’s WRC 2 were awarded to Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss from Wales.
Rally Poland was once again based in Mikołajki – a small town set in the middle of the picturesque Masurian Lake District in the north-east of the country. The route comprised 21 mega-fast, timed special stages covering 306.10km of spectacular action.
Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “It’s certainly been a weekend to remember for everyone at DMACK. We’ve been striving to compete at this level and this event marks a real turning point for us. Ott and Raigo have stunned everyone this weekend with their pace and the result has driven our enthusiasm to reach the top.”
Ott Tänak said: “It was an event of mixed emotions, we were really disappointed at losing the battle for a debut victory so close to the end after fighting so hard all weekend. But the performance proves what we are capable of and the improvements DMACK has made with the tyres. Driving on these high-speed stages is an incredible feeling, so much fun.”
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