Dmack seals sixth British Rally Championship victory in Carlisle

Tuesday 2nd May 2017 | 0 Comments

Fredrik Ahlin and Torstein Eriksen's win was the sixth in a row for a DMACK crew in the British Rally Championship
Fredrik Ahlin and Torstein Eriksen's win was the sixth in a row for a DMACK crew in the British Rally Championship

Dmack’s Fredrik Ahlin and co-driver Torstein Eriksen won a sixth consecutive MSA British Rally Championship victory at Carlisle’s Pirelli International Rally. The team maintained their winning run in 2017 by taking a 39.4-second victory over Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss, who made it a Dmack one-two. The result was a debut success for Dmack’s new medium GH43 compound DMG+22 gravel tyre. Four different drivers registered stage wins through the tough Kielder forest complex, all using Dmack tyres. Pirelli runners were successful in the Cadet class for young drivers, taking the top two places.

Tom Cave in a Hyundai i20 R5 was quickest out of the blocks but was sidelined after stage two with suspension damage. That left the door open for Ahlin in his CA1-Sport Skoda Fabia R5 to hold a 21.8 second overnight lead.

Despite being chased by Pryce and team-mate David Bogie, who was fastest over all of the final day’s action, Ahlin extended his lead and cruised home to the podium. The result marked a sterling partnership for Dmack and CA1 Sport – winning all five of the events entered so far in 2017.

The roads through Kielder forest are some of the most daunting in the UK, with high speeds and deep ditches lining the gravel roads. Dmack states its new medium compound tyre provided the performance needed to master the dry, abrasive roads. Ahlin now leads the series by 23 points.

Dick Cormack, Dmack managing director, said: “It has been an extremely dominant performance and satisfying win. Competitors using Dmack tyres were fastest on every stage and our new medium compound GH43 tyre worked exceptionally well on the dry, abrasive stages. Fredrik drove extremely well and we continue our run of UK rally victories. My thanks to the Pirelli Rally organisers for putting on a great event.”

Fredrik Ahlin, Pirelli International Rally winner, said: “We are really happy to have taken our second win of the season and, with the extra joker points, we are now 23 points clear in the championship. Today was tough as we struggled with the balance of the car and I spun on the first stage this morning. The aim now is to consolidate our championship advantage on the Scottish and take the pressure off for the Tarmac rallies.”

Young Pirelli rally stars lead Cadet class

The Pirelli International Rally starts at the manufacturer’s Carlisle factory

The Pirelli International Rally starts at the manufacturer’s Carlisle factory

Round two of the British Rally Championship began from the Pirelli factory in Carlisle on Saturday and concluded with a ceremony in nearby Brampton after eight stages and almost 100 competitive miles.

This was the 47th running of the event and 26th year of continuous sponsorship from Pirelli, which supports the event as part of its commitment to the local community in Carlisle, one of two sites the company operates from the United Kingdom. It also forms a major part of Pirelli’s involvement in motorsport, which reaches 110 years in 2017. The rally is one of the most significant in Britain, with past winners including world champions Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Ari Vatanen.

Pirelli celebrated a one-two finish on this year’s event in the Cadet class for young drivers, with Josh Cornwell leading Tom Williams. The two 18-year-old drivers are now first and second in the class standings, reaffirming Pirelli’s reputation for supporting the motorsport stars of the future.

Oscar Solberg, son of World Rally Championship driver Henning and nephew of 2003 world champion Petter, continues to lead the Junior BRC standings after following his on the opening round last month with a fourth place in Cumbria despite suffering brake issues.

The event also included a historic section, a round of the British Historic Rally Championship, run over four stages on Saturday. Here, Pirelli swept the board with its tyres designed for historic rallying, supplying the top 12 finishers. Nick Elliott took his third straight victory in his Ford Escort ahead of Jason Pritchard and Steve Bannister.

The challenging and fast gravel stages often attract top international drivers, and leading the Pirelli-equipped cars on this year’s entry was Eyvind Brynildsen from Norway. After he suffered a broken differential on his Ford Fiesta R5 on the first stage, he had to be content with demonstrating top-three pace when he returned to action on Sunday.

Pirelli’s Scorpion gravel tyres helped Scottish driver Garry Pearson into fourth place on day one on his debut at the top level of the BRC, but he was forced to retire on Sunday morning, as was Jonny Greer who ran sixth before mechanical issues struck his Citroen. Pirelli drivers Thomas Preston and Alex Laffey were able to complete the challenging event and both celebrate strong top-10 finishes.

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Category: Motorsport, UK News