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Bruno di Pianto column: Sweden will be interesting

2 February 2013

Motorsport Italia team manager Bruno di Pianto looks ahead to Rally Sweden, where Michal Kosciuszko will be back in action in the Lotos Team WRC-run MINI John Cooper Works WRC


Ciao a tutti,

Bruno here. I'm very excited to be writing to you ahead of Rally Sweden. Monday is our pre-event test in Likenas, around 40km north of the Hagfors service park, and double World Champion Marcus Grönholm is joining us to tutor Michal [Kosciuszko] on the snow.

Marcus is a legend in the world of rallying and one of the most inspiring drivers of all time. He proved himself in the WRC in every condition and has a huge amount of experience to call on. We'll run for about 100km and Marcus will help Michal with the particular style of driving needed for Sweden based on how much a driver can use or 'lean on' the snow banks.

He'll also take our MINI John Cooper Works WRC out for a spin and test her limits, which'll allow us to compare his and Michal's data on the 6km test stage, then work on speed-saving details like technical corner entry, mid-corner speed and corner exit. I've rarely met a driver as keen to learn and be the best he can be as Michal, so I'm sure that he and the team will benefit a lot from Marcus' master class. Then before we pack up for the day, Michal will get the chance to drive a few runs in the dark, which'll be vital experience.

We have a great new project this season and got off to a good start at Rallye Monte Carlo. Michal was pleased to finish in the Top 10 on his first round in the MINI John Cooper Works WRC and the team is delighted to be fifth in the 2013 FIA Manufacturers' Championship standings.

Rally Sweden will be an interesting event for us. It's Michal's first time out on the Swedish stages for eight years. The last time he competed there he was in a 2WD car and it was before Maciek was his navigator, so this is a big step for him.

Of course, Rally Sweden's characterized by its extreme conditions. It's a challenge for the team to work long hours in the cold, but we all enjoy heading out to the snow. It's the wide variety of conditions that makes the WRC so interesting. Each event offers a different test.

We're using DMACK winter tyres and looking forward to testing them after DMACK's development over the past year. There have been changes in construction, compound and studding details to improve performance on the snow and ice of the fast Swedish stages.

The new studding technology was developed in-house in Finland where DMACK could use the expertise and experience of their Scandinavian partners to improve the complex process. The new T-bar studding system helps with stud retention and stability, which is essential for us, because the DMG-ICE will be the tyre that Michal uses throughout the event – eliminating the pressure of tyre choice in Monte!

That's all for now – more from me on Thursday!

Bruno


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