DMACK Fiesta Title Race Switches To Tarmac

DMACK Fiesta Title Race Switches To Tarmac

Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy crews face a terrific Tarmac test when the penultimate round of the 2016 series takes place in Germany next week. After three thrilling outings on gravel stages, the nine crews will switch to asphalt roads at ADAC Rallye Deutschland where two more prize drives are up for grabs.

As the only all-asphalt round of the five-event campaign, and with highly-prized Trophy points up for grabs, it promises to be a captivating encounter. There is also the added sweetener for competitors who are aiming to net the final pair of 2017 WRC 2 prize drives. These will be awarded to the duo scoring most points in both Germany and October's season finale in Spain.

Leading the way in the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy title race is Osian Pryce. Welshman Pryce won the 2016 curtain-raiser in Portugal and has a five-point advantage over second placed Max Vatanen. Finnish flyer Vatanen is sure to be on a high having celebrated a Trophy triumph at his home round, Neste Rally Finland, last time out.

In third spot - 16 points adrift of Vatanen - is Jon Armstrong of Northern Ireland. He’s likely to favour the Tarmac surfaces and, as winner of round two in Poland, will be seeking to bounce back from a crash and early exit in Finland earlier this month.

Teenager Nicolas Ciamin from France - the youngest Trophy competitor this year - should also find the asphalt assignment to his liking as he has two years of track racing experience. Gus Greensmith, of England, will hope to build on his experiences so far this season. He has shown a leading pace but a number of problems have stopped him from translating that speed into results.

Rookie Jakub Brzezinski of Poland was third overall in Finland, where Norway's Oscar Solberg finished fourth and also celebrated his best result to date. Kenya's Karan Patel, another rookie, will aim to better his Finland fifth spot while Portugal’s Bernardo Sousa will sit this event out.

Unpredictable weather could make things tricky next week for crews who are vying for the biggest prize in world rallying - seven lucrative rounds of WRC 2 competition next year using a Drive DMACK Ford Fiesta R5. For ADAC Rallye Deutschland they will be given dry and wet weather DMACK tyres as they seek to get to grips with the conditions that come their way.

Based in Trier, close to the Luxembourg border, Rallye Deutschland features three distinct types of stages. Bumpy and narrow Mosel vineyard roads are mixed with broken surfaces through the Baumholder military training ground, with smooth country tests in Saarland completing the mix.

Friday features two loops of vineyards tests before ending with a new stage south of Trier. Saturday mixes country roads with the daunting Panzerplatte military area, which hosts three sprint stages and two passes over a demanding 40km stage. The final day blends the Mosel wine area with roads in the Eifel hills close to the Luxembourg border.

The crews are competing in identical Ford Fiesta R2 cars - powered by Ford's 1.0 EcoBoost turbo-charged engine. Staged by WRC tyre manufacturer DMACK along with M-Sport, the Trophy provides a training ground for budding world rally stars of the future.

Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “We’ve had three competitive events on gravel so it will be interesting to see which drivers have the pace on Tarmac. Germany is a difficult event and always demands an element of clever tyre management due to the changing surfaces and weather conditions.”

Malcolm Wilson, M-Sport managing director, said: “Moving onto the asphalt events, it's a real chance for the Tarmac specialists to make their mark. With two more Fiesta R5 drives up for grabs over the remaining two events, we could well see another talent come to the fore and I'm excited to see what our latest crop of drivers can deliver on this surface.”

Driver Quotes

Jon Armstrong from Northern Ireland said: “I’m quite confident about my pace on Tarmac so our target really is to go for the win in Germany. It’s always tricky to manage tyre wear on the longer stages while also considering the weather. We are aiming for the last two prize drives and have experience from Spain last year – but we need to be both quick and clever. We had some last minute budget dramas after the accident in Finland and our sponsors and fans have helped a lot.”

Jakub Brzezinski from Poland said: “It was fantastic to score a podium in Finland and that’s given me more confidence as we go to Germany. I expect it to be a difficult rally because of the different types of roads but we just need to concentrate on not making mistakes and building up the speed.”

Nicolas Ciamin from France said: “Thanks to my two years of track racing, I have a good level of experience on Tarmac. But Germany will be a very tough rally, especially with the surface changes and the cuts, which will make the road very dirty. I hope to get closer to the leaders on the last two rounds as this is a better surface for me but we still need to get the experience.”

Gus Greensmith from England said: “I’ve always felt at home on Tarmac and it’s thrilling to be on the limit with the Fiesta R2T on this surface. The vineyard stages are pretty tricky and the cuts on corners also make it a difficult event. The only aim for me is to adapt to my new pacenotes to the point where we will see good stage times towards the end of the weekend and make some strong progression.”

Karan Patel from Kenya said: “I don’t have much experience on Tarmac so this will be another big learning event for me. I’m looking forward to the rally but know that it’s quite tricky with difficult roads, cuts on the corners and weather to think about. But we are here to learn and get the experience of making our pace notes better for Tarmac stages.”

Osian Pryce from Wales said: “I’m looking forward to the switch to Tarmac and it’s a new challenge for everyone. Some of the stages in Germany are difficult and they require a good set of pace notes to be competitive. Our aim again is to score strong points for the third set of prize drives and maintain our championship lead. That’s got to be a realistic target for me to keep plans for next year alive.”

Oscar Solberg from Norway said: “I’ve never done a rally on Tarmac before so it will be a big new experience for me. I’ve been preparing by watching some videos of the stages but I think the biggest challenge will be getting accurate pace notes as the stages look to be quite difficult. Over the next two rallies I really need to focus on getting more experience for next year, when I can try to push for a rally win.”

Max Vatanen from Finland said: “We’ve been reviewing onboard videos from last year to try and understand the complex nature of the German stages. After three gravel rallies I’m very excited to move onto Tarmac – I enjoy the sensations inside the car. Panzerplatte is some stage and probably the biggest challenge of the whole rally.”

ADAC Rallye Deutschland
Based: Trier, Germany
Start: 09.15 Friday 19 August
Finish: 15.00 Sunday 21 August
Stages: 18 stages, 306.80 km
Longest stage: SS10/14 Panzerplatte Lang 40.80 km
Surface: Asphalt
Tyres: DMACK DMT-RC 195/50R16 T71 and W3, maximum 20 tyres

Trophy Classification After Round 3
1. Osian Pryce / Dale Furniss 68
2. Max Vatanen / Maxime Vilmot 63
3. Bernardo Sousa / Hugo Magalhaes 47
4. Jon Armstrong / Noel O’Sullivan Rookie 47
5. Jakub BrzeziƄski / Jakub Gerber Rookie 31
6. Oscar Solberg / Patrik Barth Rookie 24
7. Gus Greensmith / Alex Gelsomino 21
8. Nicolas Ciamin / Thibault de la Haye Rookie 20
9. Karan Patel / Phil Hall Rookie 12
10. Dillon Van Way / Andrew Edwards Rookie 10


DMACK Fiesta Title Race Switches To Tarmac
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