DMACK Celebrates PWRC Victory On Debut World Rally Event
DMACK Tyres is celebrating victory in the Production Car WRC (PWRC) on its debut event in the FIA World Rally Championship after Czech driver Martin Semerad used the DMG-ICE tyre to seal a dream start for the new brand in Sweden.
In a double podium result, Martin Prokop secured second place in the S2000 category on DMACK tyres and drivers using DMACK scored a string of fastest stage times over the weekend in both PWRC and S2000 categories.
Rally Sweden had the honour of kicking off a fresh new season for the WRC which sees new cars, manufacturers and tyre suppliers joining the championship for 2011. DMACK lined up beside global tyre giant Michelin as the only two tyre manufacturers authorised to supply rubber to WRC competitors.
The event provided crews with 351 kilometres of icy rally action over 22 special stages and it was on the first proper stage on Friday morning, Vargåsen, when a DMACK shod car first scored a top-10 stage time. Prokop, in his Ford Fiesta S2000, claimed 10th and on stage four he went faster than the works cars of Latvala, Ogier and current WRC champion Loeb.
However, the most significant stage for DMACK was Lesjöfors. On the first pass Prokop set DMACK’s first ever fastest time in the S2000 class as he battled for the lead with Swede Patrik Sandell. In addition, Semerad, who had been putting in a steady first day drive, moved into second place in the Production class.
The second pass was even better. Prokop was again the fastest S2000 driver while Semerad inherited the PWRC lead in his Mitsubishi Evo after early pacesetter Anders Grondal retired.
Semerad then dominated the PWRC class, taking his first ever victory by over five minutes and scoring four PWRC fastest times along the way. Prokop, however, was locked in a tense final day battle for S2000 victory with Sandell after the Swede incurred time penalties leaving service. He settled for runner-up spot and claimed four quickest S2000 times over the weekend which helped seal an amazing finish on the Chinese tyre brand’s inaugural WRC event.
Semerad, however, has a double reason for celebration. In line with DMACK’s season long incentives to make rallying more affordable for crews, the young Czech’s class win knocks 50% off his tyre bill for this rally.
Rally Sweden is one of the most challenging events on this year’s calendar. With temperatures dropping as low as 30 degrees below zero, the conditions demand serious tyre technology to deliver the impressive levels of grip that drivers need.
However, DMACK’s DMG-ICE is designed to operate optimally at temperatures as low as -28 degrees and so revelled in the icy conditions. Each tyre is equipped with 382 metal studs to bite through the snow, ice and frozen gravel.
The innovative snow tyre has been designed with stud retention and puncture resistance in mind – with added Kevlar sidewall reinforcement helping reduce the possibility of punctures.
The DMG-ICE has a tread pattern which is more open than traditional styles and helps clear loose snow from the track. It was these design innovations that helped give the DMG-ICE an edge over its rivals and deliver a maiden PWRC victory.
Meanwhile in the UK, Paul Bird finished second overall on the Wyedean Rally using DMACK’s DMG2 gravel tyre on his Ford Focus WRC – rounding off a weekend which demonstrated DMACK’s performance on Group N, S2000 and WRC cars.
Production Car WRC winner Martin Semerad said: “This is unbelievable – a great feeling. We didn’t expect to be in this position as we had decided to be patient on this rally and that has paid off. It’s just my second time here at Sweden and we knew it would be difficult to keep up with the local drivers. To score fastest times and take the win in PWRC is a big surprise.”
S2000 runner-up Martin Prokop said: “The DMACK tyres have been working well here and you can see the speed has been very good on the snow. I was surprised how good they have been on the first rally – I’m very happy with this weekend. We have been able to fight with the other S2000 drivers and even against some of the WRC cars. I will be testing the DMACK gravel tyre next week.”
Dick Cormack, DMACK Tyres motorsport director, said: “It’s been a dream result for us this weekend – we could never have imagined that a driver on DMACK tyres could win on our very first WRC event. We were quietly confident regarding the performance and durability of the tyres but now it has been proven on the world stage and during some of the toughest winter conditions. It’s been a very successful weekend for DMACK and we’ve proved that our tyres can perform well on WRC, S2000 and Group N cars. The results will certainly give competitors a strong sense of confidence now to use our product.”