WRC A FULL 2016
DMACK Proves Speed With Top Pace In Finland.
DMACK once again proved its world rally-winning pace at Neste Rally Finland this weekend – one of the most demanding and revered rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship. Setting six fastest stage times on some of the championship’s quickest roads, Estonians Ott Tänak and co-driver Raigo Mõlder were on top form as they challenged for the lead.
31 July 2016
Their performance marks the second consecutive event where DMACK has scored a series of stage-topping times – beating all the top manufacturers and world’s best drivers. Last time out in Poland the DMACK World Rally Team led a WRC event for the first time and narrowly missed out on a debut overall win.
But Tänak and Mõlder picked up where they left off and started Rally Finland with a blistering pace – leading outright after the opening street stage through host city Jyväskylä on Thursday night.
For the second event in a row they continued to fight for the lead in their Ford Fiesta RS WRC when the action moved to the super-fast forests. They were never more than 1.4 seconds off the top spot until their challenge was thwarted after dropping time with broken suspension and a puncture after hitting a rock.
But the determined duo fought back with a string of fastest times to climb the leaderboard. They were on course for a podium finish in third but a final day collision with a huge stone forced them to retire.
In WRC 2, Karl Kruuda and Martin Järveoja had another strong performance over the weekend. The Estonians had been holding a fine fourth place but also suffered problems on the final day after damaging their Fiesta R5 and were unable to finish the rally. Team-mates Marius Aasen and Veronica Engan finished sixth in their prize drive as current Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy champions.
Crews in Finland utilised the superior performance of DMACK’s new gravel tyres in soft and hard compounds over the weekend – providing both the speed and precision demanded by these most challenging of roads.
With blistering speeds and dramatic rollercoaster roads, Rally Finland has a reputation as one of the championship’s classic rounds. Many of the tests run over wide, smooth roads with a hard base – boosting grip levels and driving up average speeds. But more technical stages, with soft surfaces that can rut badly on the second pass, expose sharp rocks and cause punctures.
The event was again based in Jyväskylä and provided 333km of action over 24 spectacular special stages. Highlight of the weekend was a trip over the legendary Ouninpohja test on Saturday before the action drew to a conclusion with four final stages today.
Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “We have once again proved the performance of our new tyres. If we didn’t have the broken suspension, which put Ott under pressure to play catch-up, then we could have possibly been fighting for the win again. We had a strategy at the start of the season to target Poland and Finland with the new gravel tyre so we’ve certainly achieved that and demonstrated a major leap forward in performance.”
Ott Tänak said: “Once again we’ve shown a top pace and been able to set top times on the fastest event of the season. But a few problems have stopped us from challenging for the victory, even though we pushed to the maximum all weekend. We had prepared really well for this rally and put in so much work before hand.”
Karl Kruuda said: “It wasn’t the final result we were after but our pace has improved steadily over the last three events. We had been pushing pretty hard here and the speed at the front really was fast. Finland is one of those special events and it really was an enjoyable weekend here.”
Marius Aasen said: “After the accident in Poland it was important for us to get a strong finish here. We improved our pace over the weekend and never made any mistakes and I was really having a nice enjoyable event. We made a few changes with the car and everything worked pretty well during the event.”
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Photos: André Lavadinho / @World