Cum­brian out­fit has tested new rub­ber ex­ten­sively

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By Jack Benyon

The DMACK Bri­tish Rally Team is hop­ing a new tyre for the Pirelli Carlisle will give it an edge on this week­end’s round of the Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship.

The team has de­vel­oped tyres specif­i­cally for the R5 car as well as a new WRC tyre , which the team’s WRC driver Ott Tanak has tested ex­ten­sively.

Welsh­man El­fyn Evans is hop­ing the new tyre will al­low him to re­turn to win­ning ways on the Pirelli Carlisle Rally. He won the BRC opener in Mid Wales, but had to push hard to fend off the charge of Swedish chal­lenger Fredrik Ah­lin – who took the lead on Satur­day morn­ing. The ben­e­fit of a new tyre could help Evans head the Pirelli-shod Ah­lin.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to the Pirelli, it’s a fast rally where there’s not much mar­gin for er­ror,” said Evans. “Hope­fully we can be at the front of the field again with the new gravel tyre that DMACK has in­tro­duced. I know they’ve done quite a bit of test­ing with Tanak so I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing the im­prove­ments for my­self.”

Evans is only two ral­lies into his ex­pe­ri­ence with DMACKS, hav­ing not run the rub­ber in his ca­reer be­fore Mid Wales. But the Cir­cuit of Ire­land – round two of the BRC – proved the tyre isn’t as far be­hind its ri­vals as pre­vi­ously thought. Evans set six fastest times out of the seven stages he fin­ished, but the al­ter­na­tor belt broke on his Ford Fi­esta R5, rul­ing him out of the rally.

DMACK manag­ing di­rec­tor Dick Cor­mack be­lieves the im­prove­ment in Cir­cuit of Ire­land is down to the ex­ten­sive test­ing the man­u­fac­turer has been do­ing with its cov­ers.

“It was clear to see the progress with our Tar­mac tyres on the Cir­cuit of Ire­land with El­fyn fastest on all but one of the stages he com­pleted,” said Cor­mack. “I’m ex­cited to see how the new gravel tyres per­form this week­end. We have been ex­tremely busy with de­vel­op­ment over the last few months and, with our new tyres now be­ing man­u­fac­tured in the UK [in­stead of China], it’s a new chap­ter in DMACK’S his­tory.”

Cor­mack con­firmed that the out­fit has com­pleted mul­ti­ple tests with the tyres at var­i­ous lev­els ready for its first in­tro­duc­tion on Rally Ar­gentina.

“We’ve com­pleted three ma­jor gravel tests al­ready this year,” added Cor­mack. “We have de­vel­oped prod­ucts specif­i­cally for R5 cars in both na­tional and world events. There’s a def­i­nite im­prove­ment in per­for­mance and hope­fully that will give us an edge.”

Evans won’t face an easy chal­lenge though, with many of the BRC fron­trun­ners hap­pier on gravel than as­phalt. Ah­lin im­pressed early on the Cir­cuit of Ire­land, but a small shunt on Fri­day fol­lowed by a rally-end­ing off on Satur­day ruled out good points. He had been the quick­est BRC run­ner at points on the rally’s open­ing day.

Third seed David Bo­gie and fourth seed Tom Cave should also be more at home on the gravel of Kielder, while for­mer WRC driver Matthew Wil­son is the fifth seed on his first BRC rally in 11 years.

Photos: Jakob Ebrey

Tanak (far left) ran new tyre on test and in Ar­gentina Evans is hop­ing for tyre boost in Carlisle

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