• DMACK unveils new directional winter studded tyre.
• Elfyn Evans undertakes pre-event test tomorrow.
• Most specialised event of the season for tyre manufacturers.
After setting three fastest stage times on the season-opening Rallye Monte Carlo last month, DMACK heads to the FIA World Rally Championship’s only full winter rally next week. Round two of the series at Rally Sweden is a seriously specialist event and provides one of the toughest tests of the season for tyre manufacturers and drivers.
Snow and ice-covered roads demand a very special tyre, with numerous technical variables all contributing to the end performance. To cope with the frozen forests, DMACK has designed a completely new directional winter tyre. The DMG-ICE2 features a new tread pattern and upgraded studding technology – all optimised for enhanced stud retention.
A new ultra-stiff compound and improved construction have been introduced to deliver extremely high stud rigidity and greater precision on the flat-out stages.
Each tyre is equipped with 384 metal pins which protrude 7mm to bite into the frozen surfaces and provide impressive grip. But warmer temperatures can increase exposed gravel on many stages, especially on second pass, which rips studs from the tyres and forces drivers to cleverly manage tyre allocations.
Welshman Elfyn Evans and co-driver Daniel Barritt had an excellent start in Monte. With their M-Sport team-mates Sebastien Ogier taking a win and Ott Tanak making it a double podium – Evans showed his class by claiming three stage victories and extra power stage points to hold fifth in the championship standings.
He will make his final preparations tomorrow (Saturday) with a pre-event test in his Ford Fiesta WRC.
Rally Sweden has moved further north to Torsby, close to the border with Norway, but the traditional start at Karlstad trotting track on Thursday evening is retained. Friday’s action takes crews into Norway and the event finishes back in Torsby on Sunday afternoon.
Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “Sweden is always a difficult event, with conditions changing every year – forcing tyre manufacturers to continually evolve products. Our new directional tyre offers improved performance on ice, however, testing opportunities have been limited. This year will be an even greater challenge with the new high-powered 2017 cars.”
Elfyn Evans, DMACK WRC driver, said: “We had a successful event last year winning WRC 2 and made a confident start to this season with a strong performance on Monte. Sweden is never an easy rally but I enjoy the high-speed stages and the challenge this unique event delivers. We will be giving it our all once again.”
Tyre Information: List 1 and List 2
DMACK Grippa 205/65R15 DMG-ICE2 studded
Maximum for list 1 (WRC 2): 30
Maximum for list 2 (WRC): 32
Based: Torsby, Sweden
Start: Karlstad, 20.04 on Thursday 9 February
Finish: Torsby, 13.00 on Sunday 12 January
Stages: 17 stages, 331.74km
Longest stage: SS9/12 Knon, 31.60km