Ott Tanak and co-driver Raigo Molder will lead the DMACK charge when the FIA World Rally Championship switches to asphalt for round nine of the 2014 campaign in Germany.
The Drive DMACK World Rally Team pair tackle Rallye Deutschland as the first full tarmac event of the season, but are preparing to throw the asphalt rallying rulebook out the window as the rally's unique challenge comes from not one, but three, different road surfaces, which will test DMACK's DMT-RC asphalt tyre to the limit.
“I like tarmac and also the stages in Germany,” said Tanak, who will be bidding for the WRC2 victory, “We've had some good times here before, but the roads are very difficult. You can have different weather on every stage in a loop, so it's always a compromise and the cuts can make things tricky for the second pass. I'm looking forward to the event though – I'm up for the challenge.”
Many of the German stages run through the vineyards high in the hills overlooking the Mosel river. Their narrow, cambered roads are lined with walls and vines, demanding precision and instant turn-in from tyres, but the surfaces can become slippery with dirt, soil and mud dragged out as drivers cut corners to find the quickest line.
The toughest conditions, however, will be faced on the broken asphalt roads on the Panzerplatte stage, which runs twice on Saturday through the infamous Baumholder tank training ground. Grip is compromised as the slippery surface pushes tyres to the limit while the abrasive, broken concrete really tests durability. If that wasn't enough, huge concrete block called hinkelsteins
line the route, so there will be no room for mistakes when Tanak powers his Autotek-run Ford Fiesta R5 through the test.
The third surface is experienced on the more traditional public roads through the Saarland countryside, but these smooth stages become treacherously slippery when wet, and to cope with such a wide mix of conditions across one event, the DMT-RC will be available in hard and soft compounds this weekend.
“With the mixed weather and range of different, technical surfaces, Rallye Deutschland is always a tough rally for crews,” DMACK motorsport director Dick Cormack said, “We've got two tyre compounds here to cope with the conditions, but the demanding stages mean anything can happen. Our asphalt tyres have a tread pattern specifically designed to offer performance across mixed surfaces and we're confident in their ability to cope in Germany.”