Ketomaa Focuses On Championship Title With DMACK

Ketomaa Focuses On Championship Title With DMACK

After being ruled out of his home event at Rally Finland in August with an eye injury, Drive DMACK’s Jari Ketomaa is focusing on a solid performance at next week’s Rally de España as he challenges for the WRC 2 drivers’ title.

Ketomaa may be back up to full speed but he and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, along with DMACK, will face a tough mixed-surface event – the only round of the FIA World Rally Championship to feature separate gravel and asphalt legs.

For DMACK, it’s a complex event with four different tyre options available over the weekend. On Friday’s gravel stages, drivers can choose between the nominated hard compound S3 version of its DMG+2 gravel tyre and the soft S6A. Then when the action switches to asphalt for Saturday and Sunday, drivers will have the option of hard and soft compound DMT-RC tyres.

Tyre management is set to be a crucial factor next week. Spain’s gravel stages can be rocky and demand a high amount of puncture resistance from DMACK. High ambient temperatures in the hills above Salou can also test tyre durability.

But most importantly, the entire day is run without any service and only a tyre fitting zone to ensure crews have enough rubber for the tough tests – the most challenging of which is likely to be the 35.68km run through Terra Alta.

Friday evening will see the Autotek team swap Ketomaa’s Ford Fiesta R5 from gravel to asphalt specification during a specially extended evening service. Suspension components will be changed and bigger brakes bolted on as cars and crews swap into asphalt mode for the final two days.

The Tarmac roads in the Tarragona region are more circuit-like in nature, forcing drivers to be smooth and tyres to offer precision in order to pick the racing line through sweeping corners.

This year’s edition features a number of changes but retains the high-profile start and street stage in Barcelona on Thursday evening. The action across all three days will be played out in the mountains to the east of Salou on the Costa Daurada.

The rally is also the final round of the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy where four drivers will be battling to seal the championship and lift the huge prize of a fully-funded season in WRC 2.

Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “Spain is a tricky event and the weather can be unpredictable. Three years ago the roads were very muddy and our soft gravel tyre helped us to our first ever WRC stage win. We are currently in the middle of some significant development for our Tarmac products so the information from the event will be very useful.”

Jari Ketomaa said: “I’m hoping for a good test before the rally to get back up to speed after quite a while away from behind the wheel. The rally is a big challenge because of the different surfaces but we will push hard. Tyre management is key to this event and we need to be clever with our choices and speed.”

2015-10-16

Ketomaa Focuses On Championship Title With DMACK
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