DMACK Crowned WRC 2 Champions In Australia

DMACK Crowned WRC 2 Champions In Australia

DMACK lifted its first-ever world rally title after sealing victory in the FIA WRC 2 Championship for Teams today at Coates Hire Rally Australia – round ten of the series. Jari Ketomaa took his fifth podium of the season after an action-packed event – giving the team an unassailable advantage in the championship race.

The Drive DMACK team took four wins from the six counting events, including a pair of one-two finishes in Poland and Finland, and were crowned champions in Coffs Harbour this afternoon after sealing the championship down under. The result marks the first time a tyre manufacturer has won a WRC 2 championship title.

The British company has come a long way in just four years after joining the FIA World Rally Championship as an authorised supplier in 2011. Working closely with its Chinese partners Yongtai, DMACK has made impressive progress in the series competing successfully alongside other major global tyre manufacturers.

Rally Australia, however, was a challenging event on which to take the title. DMACK drivers used a mix of hard and soft compound DMG+2 gravel tyres to master the conditions. Despite it being the Australian debut for both team drivers, the pair set fastest times on 12 of the 20 special stages – proving the performance of DMACK’s gravel tyre.

Finns Ketomaa and Kaj Lindstrom had been challenging for overall WRC 2 glory before rolling their Autotek-run Ford Fiesta R5 car on the short super-special stage on Saturday night. The time loss, along with some technical problems on Friday, dropped them out of the battle for the lead but they returned today to claim their fifth second-place finish of the season.

Meanwhile Tänak and co-driver Raigo Molder were blisteringly fast all weekend – setting a series of fastest stage times across all three days of competition. A number of transmission problems diluted their challenge before a heavy accident on the penultimate test today sent them into retirement and to hospital for some precautionary medical checks.

Mixed weather conditions and changing road surfaces made the New South Wales event a real test. The majority of the race was held on wide, flowing shire roads creating a fast, high-commitment event. In contrast, some narrow stages threaded their way through dense forests and featured damp, slippery surfaces where drivers used the soft compound DMACK tyre.

The 20 stages were held around the coastal town of Coffs Harbour, halfway between Sydney and Brisbane. Friday’s stages took crews south to Tuckers Nob and Newry State Forests with Saturday’s action, including the monster 49km Nambucca stage, further south around Nambucca Heads. Today finished with six stages before the finish podium back in Coffs Harbour.

Dick Cormack, DMACK motorsport director, said: “Winning the WRC 2 Teams world championship is a special achievement for a young company like DMACK and I'm proud of what we've all accomplished against really fierce competition on the toughest rally stages in the world. Coming away as champions marks this as one of the most memorable weekends we've had. Despite being fastest on most of the stages and proving the performance of our tyre, we didn't quite get the rally result we deserved here but taking the overall title more than makes up for it.”

Jari Ketomaa said: “It’s great that we could win the championship here and DMACK has given us a really good selection of tyres for this rally – both hard and soft compounds were fantastic. My pace was good all weekend but we were aiming for the win and it was a shame we couldn’t quite reach it.”

Ott Tänak said: “We showed a good pace here in Australia and were fastest when we didn’t have any problems. It was a big pity to finish with a heavy accident but we got good experience of these stages and the different conditions across them.”

2014-09-14

DMACK Crowned WRC 2 Champions In Australia
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