DMACK And Tänak Up For Mexican Fiesta

DMACK And Tänak Up For Mexican Fiesta

DMACK is aiming to conquer the high altitude stages of Rally Guanajuato Mexico when the FIA World Rally Championship hosts the first gravel event of the season next weekend in Leon.

After the wintery rounds in Monte Carlo and Sweden, DMACK will unveil its gravel tyres for the first time this year as eager Estonian Ott Tänak heads the Drive DMACK World Rally Team challenge.

Tänak rejoins the DMACK squad for the opening round in his WRC 2 campaign using the Autotek-run Ford Fiesta R5. The 26-year-old, who recently became a father, made his world rally debut with DMACK at Wales Rally GB in 2011 – scoring the manufacturer’s first-ever world rally championship points.

After a season away from WRC, Tänak proved at last month’s Rally Sweden that he was quickly back up to speed and will be gunning for WRC 2 glory once the colourful event gets underway on Thursday.

Tänak will be joined by 2013 Production Cup winner Nicolas Fuchs from Peru, who won the Production category on last year’s Rally Mexico, and 2013 Citroen Top Driver runner-up Frenchman Quentin Gilbert as DMACK’s trio of WRC 2 runners. They will use the DMG+2 gravel tyre in the nominated hard S3 compound which retains a similar construction and compound to 2013. Crews can use a maximum of 24 tyres with a soft S6 compound also available.

Because of its location, conditions and itinerary, Rally Mexico is once again set to be a tough event. Not only do the high temperatures and altitudes sap engine power, but the ultra-long stages are set to deliver a tough test of tyre durability. The competitive loops between services are long but, more importantly, each day boasts a mammoth stage where drivers will have to carefully manage tyre wear.

The compact route sees action again take place across the dirt roads traversing the Sierra de Lobos and Sierra de Guanjuato mountains with 39% of the overall distance made up of competitive timed tests.

However, in spite of the energy soaking temperatures and rough roads, Rally Mexico is one of the fun events of the season. It’s renowned for the energetic ceremonial start in the stunningly colourful town of Guanajuato – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Crowds flock from afar to watch the opening Monster Street Stage which runs through tunnels under the town. 

Event Details

Based in Leon, 400km north-west of Mexico City the action kicks off on Thursday evening with a one kilometre blast through Guanajuato’s streets and tunnels. Friday’s stages take place around Guanajuato with a demanding loop of four stages repeated in the afternoon and rounded off with a double blast through Leon’s race circuit.

Saturday features a marathon 170km of competition split into two loops closer to Leon with a significant chunk of the race featured around the 53.69km Otates test.

However, Sunday’s final day could offer a last minute sting in the tail with the huge 55.92km Guanajuatito stage making up the bulk of the action. It uses sections of stages from Saturday so the third pass could be tough on both cars and tyres.

Crews will finish back at the Leon Poliforum on Sunday afternoon after 22 stages covering 399.93km.

Dick Cormack, DMACK motorsport director, said: “Tyre management will be critical in Mexico and I think drivers need to think carefully around how they best deal with some of the long distances. Tyre allocations have dropped again this year creating more of a focus on clever management. After two events so far this year with inconsistent surfaces, Mexico brings us back to the first of six consecutive gravel events where we know our tyre is competitive and will allow us to push for WRC 2 victories.”

Ott Tänak said: “I'm really looking forward to Mexico. There are many new things for us with a new car, team and a new DMACK tyre, but I know that we have a very good package and I'm sure we will be very competitive. I've been twice before in Mexico and I really like the roads over there. As I've never driven an R5 car before, it will take some time in the beginning to get used to it, but the plan is to get up to speed as fast as possible and fight for the top place. We had a really good rally in Sweden, as I've had a long break without driving it was a bit of a surprise to get back to speed so soon.”

2014-02-28

DMACK And Tänak Up For Mexican Fiesta
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