After a stunning PWRC victory in the hands of Martin Semerad on its first ever FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) event, DMACK Tyres heads to the latest round in Portugal next week facing another challenge – the first event for its new WRC gravel tyres.
Rally Portugal is the third round of the WRC and has traditionally proved a stern test for tyres with its hard based, abrasive roads and high temperatures delivering some of the highest rates of tyre wear in the series.
However, this year’s slot is two months earlier than last season and the associated lower temperatures and the potential for damp conditions may alleviate some of the punishment dealt to tyres.
DMACK will supply its DMG2 gravel tyre to rally crews in Portugal with priority runners using the nominated G2 hard compound. Non-priority drivers have the additional option of a G4 medium compound and a soft G6 – with DMACK using the event to further evaluate the performance of these compounds.
Durability and puncture resistance has been at the forefront of the DMG2’s design. The construction of its centre blocks provide enhanced durability in terms of tyre wear while its Kevlar reinforced sidewalls and belt-pack help guard against punctures.
The tyre is also equipped with run-flat technology with strengthened shoulders allowing the tyre to be driven on for longer distances in the event of a deflation – limiting the potential time loss to competitors.
Next week’s event, however, will not be the first time DMACK tyres have hit the Portuguese stages. Last year, as part of its development programme, Juha Kankkunen used the 13 inch DMACK Grippa tyre on his way to overall victory on the historic section of the event. The outing provided some valuable development data for the Grippa tyre, specifically designed for rear-wheel-drive rally cars, and also demonstrated its performance straight out of the box.
DMACK is also providing gravel tyres for Rally Portugal’s three safety course cars – helping them carry out their important task and confirming DMACK’s commitment to safety.
Next week also sees DMACK continue its 2012 development programme with testing of new snow tyre compounds and constructions in Scandinavia. Evaluation from Rally Sweden, combined with important feedback from competitors, has allowed the development of two new constructions and one new compound of the DMG-ICE tyre which won the first PWRC round in Sweden.
DMACK has taken full advantage of the FIA sporting regulations for 2011 which encourage new tyre manufacturers to enter the WRC. Its supply is aimed at privateer teams and support category competitors who demand strong, durable, high quality tyres at affordable prices.
DMACK is continuing the exclusive incentives to competitors running on its tyres. Any class 2 or class 6 competitor who takes overall victory in that class will receive 50% off their tyre bill for that event.
PWRC leader Martin Semerad heads a pack of around 12 crews who are either testing or using DMACK tyres at Rally Portugal.
Dick Cormack, DMACK Tyres motorsport director, said: “Starting the season with a surprise victory was fantastic but it sets a very high standard. However, we believe the technology behind the DMG2 gravel tyre will help ensure it has a successful WRC debut. We’ve concentrated on the factors that are important to support category crews, such as durability and puncture resistance, but are confident that the performance of the tyres is also high.
“Our ongoing development is vital to ensure we continue to build upon durability and performance for next year. Feedback from competitors will allow us to make improvements and we will respond to their comments and advice. Already we have three new snow tyres to test next week and we will be developing the gravel tyres during the year to ensure we have the best possible product for competitors.”
Event Details
Rally Portugal will again be based in the Algarve region in the south of the country but features an exciting trip to capital city Lisbon for the Ceremonial Start and opening Super Special Stage on Thursday afternoon.
The real action kicks off on Friday morning with two loops of three stages while Saturday sees the longest day of competitive action – offering over 148km of wide gravel roads and twisty tracks.
However, the sting in the tail could be Sunday’s final-day action. It features two runs through the longest stage of the rally, Santana da Serra at 31km, with the second pass counting as the Power Stage were crews can collect extra points for being fastest through.
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