Tremendous Ten To Start Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy

Tremendous Ten To Start Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy

Ten crews representing 12 different countries will line-up for the start of the third edition of the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy at Rally de Portugal next month. And, with an eclectic mix of experiences and ambitions, it looks set to be another fierce season of competition for the biggest prize in world rallying.

Boasting the most experience is 28-year-old Portuguese driver Bernardo Sousa – he has contested selected WRC 2 rounds over the previous two seasons, finished fourth in SWRC in 2011 and has 38 WRC starts to his name.

Welshman Osian Pryce comes to the series from a strong season in Junior WRC where he was one of the leading and quickest runners. He’s joined by last year’s Vatanen Touch winner Jon Armstrong from Northern Ireland with England’s Gus Greensmith, current rookie champion, making it three drivers from the UK.

The series continues to attract Scandinavian rally driving sons. Finland’s Max Vatanen returns for his third season while Oscar Solberg, son of Henning, is hoping to make it two Norwegian winners in two years.

There are four drivers making their WRC debuts on the opening round. American driver Dillon Van Way has experience of the Fiesta R2 having competed in the FIA NACAM series last year while Poland’s Jakub Brzeziński makes the step up from his national rally series.

Nicolas Ciamin from France is the youngest of the pack aged 18 and popular Kenyan driver Karan Patel will represent the continent of Africa.

Widely considered as the most affordable way to experience the FIA World Rally Championship, the Trophy allows competitors to move into the official WRC support series.

Continuing the successful format, competitors will battle behind the wheel of identical Ford Fiesta R2T rally cars built by M-Sport and powered by Ford’s 1.0 EcoBoost turbo-charged engine. They will use DMACK’s latest gravel and asphalt rally tyres, which are well-proven on both surfaces,

While the huge prize of seven events in the WRC 2 championship remains, it has been split up to provide more opportunities for competitors. The driver accumulating the most points over Portugal and Poland wins two WRC 2 drives. It’s the same situation for Poland and Finland while asphalt aces will be attracted to the pairing of Germany and Spain.

The flexible nature of the Trophy means that organisers expect the next two rounds in Poland and Finland to specifically appeal to drivers from Scandinavia and eastern Europe.

Competitors will attend M-Sport on 27-28 April for pre-season training and the opportunity to test drive the Fiesta R2T. A launch event for media will then take place at Rally de Portugal on Thursday 19 May.

Crews starting round one Rally de Portugal
Jon Armstrong (Northern Ireland) / Noel O’Sullivan (Ireland) Rookie
Jakub Brzeziński (Poland) / Bartłomiej Boba (Poland) Rookie
Nicolas Ciamin (France) / Thibault de la Haye (France) Rookie
Gus Greensmith (England) / Alex Gelsomino (Italy)
Karan Patel (Kenya) / Phil Hall (England) Rookie
Osian Pryce (Wales) / Dale Furniss (Wales)
Oscar Solberg (Norway) / TBA Rookie
Bernardo Sousa (Portugal) / Hugo Magalhaes (Portugal)
Dillon Van Way (USA) / Andrew Edwards (Wales) Rookie
Max Vatanen (Finland) / Jacques Julien Renucci (France)

Rookie Award – for drivers with less than two WRC starts at the beginning of the season.

Bernardo Sousa said: “I’ve decided to do the Trophy as it’s a great chance to re-launch my career. My goal will be to fight for the win, I have a good knowledge of the rallies and quite a lot of experience but not much experience of two-wheel-drive so I will have to learn this. However, I’m really happy to start the season with my home rally and support from the fans.”

Gus Greensmith said: “We always had a two year plan for the DMACK Trophy from the beginning and I got so much experience from it last year. It really is the strongest series in terms of competition for young drivers and I wanted to be here again to compete against the quickest people.”

Oscar Solberg said: “I decided to compete to get as much experience as possible of the roads and stages in WRC, with rallies on gravel and Tarmac it’s the best option for me. The prize is great, but there are many other really good drivers so it will be tough. But I’m already looking forward to Rally Finland.”

Malcolm Wilson, M-Sport managing director, said: “Once again we’ve got a diverse group of drivers and experiences but I expect the competition to again be extremely intense. The Fiesta R2T shone on its debut in 2015 and we’re in for another exciting year.”

Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “The DMACK Trophy is all about providing young and aspiring drivers with the opportunity to experience and compete in WRC. Once again the series has appealed to drivers from across the world and I’m looking forward to seeing who shines above the rest.”


Tremendous Ten To Start Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy
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