The Drive DMACK World Rally Team took a stunning 1-2 victory at Rally Sweden today after Jari Ketomaa and Kaj Lindstrom controlled the event from the start as the team began the defence of its WRC 2 Teams world title.
Team-mates Eyvind Brynildsen and Anders Fredriksson cruised home in second to see the untouchable DMACK crews finish nearly three minutes ahead of a competitive field of WRC 2 drivers. It was the best possible start for both crews as they lit up the frozen Swedish stages and set a blistering pace all weekend on the debut of DMACK’s all-new winter rally tyre.
After being edged out of victory on the final stage last year, flying Finns Ketomaa and Lindstrom were hungry for a win and used DMACK’s DMG-ICE tyre to blitz the opposition on the opening day in their Autotek-run Ford Fiesta R5. Norwegian Brynildsen and Swede Fredriksson put their home advantage to good use as they traded times with Ketomaa on day two at the wheel of a Fiesta RRC.
Round two of the FIA World Rally Championship, Rally Sweden is the only winter event of the season and was the opening rally in the two-car Drive DMACK World Rally Team’s 2015 campaign. The challenge of tackling the frozen forest roads is immense with tyres required to find incredible levels of traction in the extreme conditions.
DMACK used the event to successfully launch a new version of its DMG-ICE studded tyre, which was immediately on the pace of its Michelin and Pirelli counterparts. The tyre company’s technical team may be small but it had a firm focus on delivering a number of structural improvements including a new construction and rubber compound, while retaining the unique V-shape tread pattern which works well in loose snow.
However, the most significant improvement came from the new metal studs. Each tyre features 384 metal studs to bite into the ice and DMACK’s focus on evolving the stud, alongside a more robust studding system, really paid dividends. The improved stud retention allowed Ketomaa and Brynildsen to lift the pace and handed them an edge over the other WRC 2 competitors.
The snowy action was played out over four days and blasted off with the popular Karlstad super special stage held in front of a packed stadium of energetic fans. But it was when the action moved to the fast, flowing forests of Norway and Sweden on Friday that Ketomaa stamped his authority.
He opened up a comfortable gap by the end of day one and controlled the lead right through to the final stage near Hagfors this afternoon.
Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: ”This incredible result is the culmination of a huge effort from our modest technical team and input from Yongtai in China. DMACK may not have the resources of other tyre manufacturers but the passion and determination to succeed runs throughout the company at every level. I believe it’s our biggest win in WRC so far and a real defining moment for DMACK, proving our winter tyre is capable of matching and edging ahead of the other tyre manufacturers. Jari and Eyvind have delivered an incredible pace this weekend so well done to them also.”
Jari Ketomaa said: ”I’m so pleased to get this result here in Sweden, it’s a fantastic feeling. Everyone at DMACK has worked hard on this new tyre and now it all pays off. We pushed hard on the first day to build a lead and controlled it from there. The pace was hot and we were forced to drive pretty quickly all weekend but it was also a very enjoyable rally. When everything works here, the car, the tyres, driver and co-driver, then the stages are so much fun.”
Eyvind Brynildsen said: ”My aim was to come here to try and win so it’s a little disappointing to finish second but helping DMACK get a 1-2 is really good. I’ve driven the whole rally without any mistakes and the speed was very good when everything was going well. Overall it has been a tough but enjoyable rally with a great result at the end.”