DMACK’s all-new gravel tyre took a dominant victory today at Rally Finland when Jari Ketomaa powered to a decisive WRC2 win on the eighth round of the FIA World Rally Championship. Ketomaa led from start to finish on the three-day event and his seventh position overall means he’s also the first driver to score WRC points in a R5 specification car.
Ketomaa and co-driver Marko Sallinen scored 13 fastest times from the 23 stages on their home event and controlled the WRC2 category from the very first stage, to finish almost 90 seconds clear of former F1 driver Robert Kubica.
It was a stunning debut for DMACK’s new S6 compound tyre. The firm played its gravel joker to introduce a new specification soft gravel tyre for this event and it was a huge step forward. The extra grip and traction provided Ketomaa with the performance advantage he needed to edge out his rivals on this iconic event.
Affectionately dubbed the Finnish Grand Prix, the event is one of the fastest of the season and pits man and machine against the ultra-fast gravel roads around Jyvaskyla. The high speeds and frequent huge, blind jumps demand precision and confident braking from tyres. However, the soft roads rutted badly on the second running of many of the stages this year and the puncture resistance of DMACK’s DMG+2 was also tested to the limit.
The tyre coped impeccably with the demanding conditions as untouchable Ketomaa cruised his brand-new Autotek-run Ford Fiesta R5 to victory. Five of the new machines started their debut WRC event but it was the three DMACK-equipped R5s which made it safely to the finish of this monster rally.
Norwegian team-mate Eyvind Brynildsen endured a series of mechanical woes but finished tenth in WRC2. Irish driver Robert Barrable completed the hat-trick bringing his CA1 Sport machine home in eighth on an impressive debut at Rally Finland.
The result ties in well with this weekend’s announcement that Hankook and Pirelli will enter the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship to join current manufacturers DMACK and Michelin. DMACK’s boost in performance will prove important with the increased competition next year as more global tyre brands join the series.
Dick Cormack, DMACK motorsport director, said: “Jari has driven an impeccable rally and we couldn’t have asked for anything more from him and the Autotek team on this legendary event. The combination of our new tyre along with the Fiesta R5 car has delivered a significant performance advantage and been the perfect package on one of the most competitive events of the year.
“We welcome the news that Hankook and Pirelli will join us next season. We’ve spent the last three year’s in the WRC developing our asphalt and gravel tyres and we are very much looking forward to the challenge of competing against two more huge, well-established manufacturers.”
Jari Ketomaa said: “It’s amazing, unbelievable, I’ve been trying to do this for so many years. It has been the perfect rally for me and it’s so nice to be here with all the fans. I really can’t believe just how much improved this new tyre is – compared to last year, the difference is incredible. We started really well and then tried to just back off and control things. It wasn’t easy as the conditions were quite rough but now it’s a super result for me against all the championship regulars.”