ERJ staff report (TP)
Cumbria, UK – British independent tire manufacturer DMACK is aiming to conquer the high altitude stages of Rally Guanajuato Mexico when the FIA World Rally Championship hosts the first gravel event of the season this weekend in Leon.
After the wintery rounds in Monte Carlo and Sweden, DMACK will unveil its gravel tires for the first time this year as Estonian driver Ott Tänak heads the Drive DMACK World Rally Team challenge.
Tänak rejoins the DMACK squad for the opening round in his WRC 2 campaign using the Autotek-run Ford Fiesta R5. The 26-year-old, who recently became a father, made his world rally debut with DMACK at Wales Rally GB in 2011 – scoring the manufacturer’s first-ever world rally championship points.
After a season away from WRC, Tänak proved at last month’s Rally Sweden that he was quickly back up to speed and will be gunning for WRC 2 glory once the colourful event gets underway on Thursday.
Tänak will be joined by 2013 Production Cup winner Nicolas Fuchs from Peru, who won the Production category on last year’s Rally Mexico, and 2013 Citroen Top Driver runner-up Frenchman Quentin Gilbert as DMACK’s trio of WRC 2 runners. They will use the DMG+2 gravel tire in the nominated hard S3 compound which retains a similar construction and compound to 2013. Crews can use a maximum of 24 tires with a soft S6 compound also available.
Because of its location, conditions and itinerary, Rally Mexico is once again set to be a tough event. Not only do the high temperatures and altitudes sap engine power, but the ultra-long stages are set to deliver a tough test of tire durability. The competitive loops between services are long but, more importantly, each day boasts a mammoth stage where drivers will have to carefully manage tire wear.
The compact route sees action again take place across the dirt roads traversing the Sierra de Lobos and Sierra de Guanjuato mountains with 39 percent of the overall distance made up of competitive timed tests.
However, in spite of the energy soaking temperatures and rough roads, Rally Mexico is one of the “fun” events of the season. It’s renowned for the “energetic” ceremonial start in the “stunningly colourful” town of Guanajuato – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Crowds flock from afar to watch the opening Monster Street Stage which runs through tunnels under the town.
This is an external link and should open in a new window. If the window does not appear, please check your pop-up blocking software. ERJ is not responsible for the content of external sites.
Press release from DMACK