DMACK will partner Finn Jari Ketomaa next weekend as he bids for a top finish on his home round of the FIA World Rally Championship. Rally Finland sees the series return after its short summer break for round eight and it’s an event which should suit Ketomaa.
Few non-Finns taste success on this rally due to the specialist nature of the high-speed gravel stages which ribbon their way through the smooth forest roads around Jyvaskyla.
The stages are flat-out, tree-lined roads with massive jumps, which catapult cars high into the air, to add to the challenge. However, Ketomaa will be aiming for a finish, as well as demonstrating his speed, when the event kicks off on Thursday. He led the rally overall last year after the first stage and has good experience of the specialist roads.
He will again campaign the Autotek-run Ford Fiesta RS WRC on what promises to be one of the fastest events of the whole year.
DMACK will supply Ketomaa and other competitors with its DMG+2 gravel tyre in S1 compound. The new closed pattern tyre was introduced as its joker on the Acropolis Rally but the compound is similar to that used successfully by DMACK in Finland last year.
It’s tread pattern should cope well on the smooth, hard wide roads but also deliver the grip and traction needed to master the soft, loose sandy stages.
The team is currently completing a two-day pre-event test to ensure Ketomaa is fully prepared for the challenge ahead. Finland is an event where testing pays off. As well as confirming final car settings, it’s also an important opportunity for Ketomaa to ensure he’s fully confident ahead of the start.
One of the shortest events in the series with just 18 stages, Rally Finland will be a real sprint from the start on Thursday afternoon in Lahti. Competitors race three stages before they head back to rally base in Jyvaskyla for the overnight halt.
Friday’s action takes place to the west of the city covering the traditional tests and finishing with a super-special around the trotting tract at Killeri. But Saturday’s final day jewel in the crown is the Ouninpohja stage, run at its full 33km length twice, with the second pass also qualifying as the Power Stage.
Dick Cormack, DMACK motorsport director, said: “Rally Finland is one of the fastest events and that demands excellent high speed stability from our tyres. We believe our new DMG+2 should be well suited and we already know the compound works well after last year’s event. We’ve had a really positive two-day test with Jari and hopefully we can help him deliver a strong performance on his home event.”
Jari Ketomaa said: “The first day of the test has been really good and we’ve worked hard to try different suspension, ride height and differential settings. Yesterday we tested on some softer roads with jumps and we have a very good feeling with the car and tyres. Today we move to a fast, wide road to finish off the preparations for the rally.”