DMACK tyres face mixed surface challenge in WRC Spain
This season’s rookie tyre manufacturer in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), DMACK tyres, face a stern challenge at next weekend’s Rally de Espana – the 12th and penultimate round of this year’s series. The mixed-surface round delivers an extra challenge for competitors and teams who must transform rally cars from gravel to asphalt specification during the event. But it’s also a huge test for tyre manufacturers. Not only will they have to cope with the normal rigours of a world rally but, on day one, gravel tyres will have to perform on both gravel and asphalt mixed-surface stages.
DMACK claims to be able to answer this question as it comes to the rally off the back of successful asphalt and gravel tests with newly-crowned Production World Rally Champion Hayden Paddon. The Kiwi put DMACK’s 2012 development tyres through their paces in Belgium before undertaking a gravel test in Spain. In addition, he will compete on the Rallye de Tierra Baja Andalucía in Spain this weekend on DMACK tyres to continue evaluation of next season’s gravel tyres.
The demands of this rally have forced tyre manufacturers to nominate three separate tyres for the event. DMACK has nominated its well-proven DMG2 gravel tyre in G4 compound for the opening gravel section of the rally on Friday.
When the action moves to all-asphalt for days two and three on Saturday and Sunday, DMACK will offer competitors its DMT-RC asphalt tyre in T5 hard and T7 medium compounds. Priority one and two crews can use a maximum of 24 tyres for these two days, of which only 20 can be the medium compound. Priority three crews in four-wheel-drive cars are allowed a maximum of 16 asphalt tyres and only 14 of these can be medium compound.
Most of the event’s three days and 406km of timed competitive action takes place to the west of the rally base at PortAventura theme park in Salou.
Dick Cormack, DMACK Tyres motorsport director, said: “Spain will be a difficult event as there’s lots more things for competitors and tyre companies alike to think about. But we’ve been working hard in the run-up to this rally, both in preparation for it and also for next year. This is another event where we expect to learn lots and, like other rallies this year, we’ll use the information to continue our development and progression for next season.”