Tough Technical Sweden Will Test Studded Tyres

Tough Technical Sweden Will Test Studded Tyres

Next week’s Rally Sweden, the only winter rally in the FIA World Rally Championship, is set to provide one of the toughest tests of the season for tyre manufacturer DMACK and its customers.

Snow and ice-covered roads demand a very special tyre, with numerous technical variables all contributing to the end performance. DMACK has updated its DMG-ICE tyre, which has already proved its potential taking Jari Ketomaa and Eyvind Brynildsen to a dominant 1-2 in WRC 2 last season, with a number of tweaks to boost its performance even further.

The unique V-style tread pattern remains. allowing the tyre to be used on either side of the car and giving drivers enhanced flexibility. However, DMACK has made a few modifications to the compound and studding system to improve grip, traction and all-important stud retention.

Each tyre is equipped with 384 metal pins which bite into the frozen surfaces and provide impressive grip. But warmer temperatures next week in Sweden look likely to increase exposed gravel on many stages, especially on second pass, which rips studs from the tyres.

Studded winter tyres are designed specifically to deliver high levels of traction on snow and frozen roads but the absence of ice is likely to play havoc with stud retention and force drivers to cleverly manage tyre allocations during the event.

DMACK World Rally Team drivers Ott Tänak and Raigo Mõlder are looking forward to tackling the high-speed Sweden tests in their Ford Fiesta RS WRC. They will be hoping to build on their seventh place on round one at Monte Carlo, which also placed the DMACK team fifth in the race for the manufacturer world title.

It’s also the opening rally in the WRC 2 campaign for the Drive DMACK Trophy Team. Norwegians Marius Aasen and Veronica Engan, current Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy champions, take up their prize drive at the wheel of an M-Sport-run Fiesta R5. They are joined by Estonian Sander Pärn and Welsh co-driver James Morgan, winners of the one-make series in 2014.

The event is the only winter rally of the season and has moved base further south to the city of Karlstad this year. The action gets underway with a popular blast around Karlstad’s trotting track, which attracts thousands of fans, on Thursday evening.

Much of Friday’s action takes place in Norway with a remote service, while Saturday and Sunday stages are based around last year’s host town Hagfors. A quarter of the tests are new and the rally features no mid-day service at all – placing even more pressure on crews to have a mistake free run. They will tackle 21 timed stages and 331km of competitive action.

Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “This is our sixth Rally Sweden and you never know what the event will bring - it is a hugely demanding rally for tyres. DMACK had an excellent result last year with a strong first and second in WRC 2 and our tyre really suited those conditions, but this year is looking much different with almost no snow. We’ve made a few performance tweaks to the DMG-ICE winter tyre but, if the conditions are above freezing as predicted, then it’s going to be very difficult with stud retention. A clever strategy to manage tyres will be critical."

Ott Tänak said: “I really like Rally Sweden, it’s usually an enjoyable event and a fast rally where you can get a really nice feeling. Hopefully we will have enough snow this year but I remember even last year the second pass had lots of gravel and it was very tough on tyres. It will take some clever driving to manage the situation.”

2016-02-05

Tough Technical Sweden Will Test Studded Tyres
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