DMACK’s flying Finn Jari Ketomaa finished eighth overall on his home FIA World Rally Championship event tonight as he rounded off a strong performance on Neste Oil Rally Finland.
Ketomaa secured the top-eight place after an extremely solid and consistent performance saw him set a string of 14 top-10 stage times over the weekend on one of the world’s most-daunting events.
He powered the Autotek-run Ford Fiesta RS WRC through the rally’s opening 13.68 km stage on Thursday evening using DMACK’s DMG+2 gravel tyre to secure 10th position. Along with the other DMACK runners, Ketomaa used the S1 compound of the new tyre which was introduced using the joker system earlier this year.
The result marks an impressive performance for DMACK on this hugely specialised event. The high-speed stages mean Finland is consistently one of the fastest rounds of the world series. But the challenge is heightened with the addition of huge stomach-churning crests and jumps which fire cars high into the air.
Ketomaa was happy with the grip and durability delivered by his tyres and his performance was helped by a two-day pre-event test where he tried various settings on a variety of road surfaces. This boost in confidence allowed the Finn to run as the top private driver for most of the event.
His only real problem was an engine misfire which slowed progress on Friday but he got back on track after setting sixth fastest time on the second pass through Lankamaa on Friday evening to move up to seventh overall.
He dropped back to eighth today but a strong run through the event’s final two stages, the classic ultra-fast Ouninpohja test, saw Ketomaa secure the position for DMACK.
The DMACK result confirms the manufacturer’s pace on the Finnish roads and this improving performance is backed up with a series on recent strong results on Finnish Rally Championship events.
Dick Cormack, DMACK motorsport director, said: “Jari has delivered a great result here for DMACK, on our first Rally Finland with a world rally car, and we’ve been extremely satisfied with the performance of our tyre. His stage times have been consistent and the result marks another significant step in the continued development of our products. We knew the compound would be strong here after last year’s results and we are moving ahead event by event.”
Jari Ketomaa said: “We’ve ended up in a very good overall position and it’s definitely been my best event so far this season. The test we made before the rally was a big help as we got some good settings and that gave me the confidence to be fast from the very start of the rally. The DMACK tyres have been very good, especially on the stages with loose gravel and the tyre wear was very impressive.”