DMACK Tyres has successfully completed the Rally de Espana after running its asphalt tyres for the first-ever time in the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship.
DMACK had nominated its DMT-RC asphalt tyre in T5 hard and T7 medium compounds for priority drivers at this weekend’s penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
But, as a new tyre manufacturer to the series this year, DMACK was forced to nominate this season’s asphalt tyre over 12 months ago when a limited amount of testing and development had been undertaken.
However, the DMT-RC exceeded expectations delivering impressive levels of tyre wear and able to cope with the challenging asphalt stages that were thrown at it. On the ultra-tough 45.97km El Priorat test which opened day two’s action, the DMACK shod car of Abu Dhabi driver Majed Al Shamsi powered through the stage quicker than 2010 SWRC Champion, and home driver, Xevi Pons.
Al Shamsi’s team-mate, Bader Al Jabri, also performed well – using DMACK tyres to finish fourth and take his best-ever PWRC finish.
As the only true mixed-surface round of this year’s championship, the rally meant tyre manufacturers had to nominate both gravel and asphalt tyres. DMACK had offered competitors its DMG2 gravel tyre for the six stages on Friday which crews tackled in gravel specification rally cars. This was also a massive test for tyres with each loop of stages covering over 80km of rough and abrasive gravel roads.
Rally teams then converted cars to asphalt specification for two days of action on the circuit-like Spanish roads west of the rally base in Salou.
The event was tough on crews and tyres alike. The dry conditions on day one generated significant amounts of dust on the stages, causing some competitors to make mistakes and forcing organisers to extend gaps between cars to aid visibility.
But the long stages and loops tested tyres to the limit. DMACK’s run-flat shoulders allowed any drivers who hit rocks, damaged wheels and punctured tyres to drive on the damaged tyre and reduce their time loss.
Next up for DMACK is Wales Rally GB where the team aims to use its joker nomination to introduce a new gravel tyre specifically targeted at the cold, muddy conditions the Welsh forests offer.
Dick Cormack, DMACK Tyres motorsport director, said: “Our asphalt tyre had to be nominated last year when development was limited. To see how well it has performed here this weekend is very encouraging. We’ve undertaken significant development during the year but unfortunately the rules mean we have to use the compound and construction nominated last year rather than the much more competitive tyre we have now. But our intention is to play our joker for Rally GB and push for a decent result to repay the huge amount of development we’ve undertaken in our first year of competition.”
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