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Sep 04, 2014 - 02:19 PM
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DMACK Down Under For Important Aussie Action
Posted by: newsla on Sep 04, 2014 - 02:15 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
DMACK Down Under For Important Aussie Action


The Drive DMACK World Rally Team heads down under next week for Rally Australia, where it will field both WRC 2 team crews for the final time in the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship season. Finn Jari Ketomaa and Estonian Ott Tänak will take to the stages as the race for WRC 2 honours hots up. With at least seven drivers in with a shot at the title, a strong result on Rally Australia is a must.

 

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As the third and final long-haul event of the season, the rally is both tough and complex. It’s the first time both DMACK crews will have tackled Rally Australia so experience is low and the challenge is high.

Tänak and co-driver Raigo Molder are currently second in the WRC 2 points table, with this their seventh and final scoring round in the series. Ketomaa and Kaj Lindstrom are fifth in the standings with two events, including Australia, remaining in their programme. Both crews will pilot Autotek-run Ford Fiesta R5 cars and will get preparations underway with a pre-event test on Monday.

The race is held over roads covered in loose stones and renowned for being ultra-slippery and dusty in the dry. But, if wet, the conditions change dramatically with muddy and treacherously slimy surfaces creating extreme conditions. The varied character of the event’s stages also pose a complex challenge – one minute cars can be threading their way along tight and twisty tracks deep in the rainforest, the next they can be flat-out over fast and flowing roads in open countryside.

The New South Wales-based event sees DMACK runners use its DMG+2 gravel tyre which has proven successful already this year. DMACK has nominated the hard compound S3 as first choice for the rally, with the softer S6 available should conditions turn wet or cold.

Rally Australia is once again based at Coffs Harbour, halfway between Sydney and Brisbane on the New South Wales coast, and features a compact itinerary. After shakedown, a rally show and ceremonial start on Thursday, it’s down to the real action on Friday morning.

Friday’s high-speed shire road stages are based to the south in the Tuckers Nob and Newry State Forests. A loop of three tests is tackled in the morning, starting with the new 10.73km Hydes Creek. All three are repeated in the afternoon before two blasts over the new, mixed-surface Super Special test.

On Saturday crews will head further south to a selection of hard-based roads west of Nambucca Heads. The action centres around the monster Nambucca stage which, at 48.92kms, is one of the longest of the season. The loop is repeated in the afternoon before a second visit to the Super Special.

On Sunday the rally moves north of Coffs where a repeated three-stage loop brings the weekend’s racing of 319.58km and 20 competitive stages to a close.

Dick Cormack, DMACK motorsport director, said: “We’ve moved back to gravel again and hopefully both drivers can be as competitive in WRC 2. This rally is pretty important in terms of the championship and we need to aim for a solid performance and a strong haul of points to continue to challenge for the WRC 2 drivers’ title. Australia is a difficult event but I’m confident our tyres can cope well with all conditions.”

Ott Tanak said: “It will be my first time in Rally Australia and I’ve been looking at the video of the stages to get some information. They look really nice, fast and smooth in most places. It will all be new for us and I hope to be pushing for some fast times. It will be important for us to get some good experience of these stages and learn as much as we can.”

Jari Ketomaa said: “The stages look like they will be really enjoyable and maybe the smooth roads will be a little more suitable for the R5 cars. I’ve never competed here before so our test on Monday will be important to ensure we have a good set-up and feeling to start the rally.”


PaddockTalk Perspective



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