Elfyn Evans claims DMACK’s 50th WRC stage win | 1 August 2017
In a final stage battle, Elfyn Evans finished second at Neste Rally Finland by just 0.3 seconds – scoring his and DMACK’s best result at the prestigious, high-speed event.
In a treble celebration, DMACK claimed a double podium in WRC 2 and podium lock-outs in WRC 3 and Junior WRC. Along the way Evans and co-driver Daniel Barritt notched up DMACK’s 50th overall stage win – all of them in M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC cars.
With DMACK now scoring fastest times on six of the nine events this season, the result saw Evans and Barritt finish as top M-Sport World Rally Team crew, bringing home valuable points to help the team extend their lead at the top of the manufacturer championship standings.
Famed for its iconic jumps, flat-out gravel roads and blind crests, Finland’s round of the championship is held in high esteem and is one of the biggest challenges of the series. It attracts huge numbers of fans from around the world at the spiritual home of the sport.
Despite not having a pre-event test, Evans was quickly up to speed using DMACK’s soft compound GS62 tyre for the entire event. And, in one of the most fiercely-fought rounds yet, he moved up the leaderboard over the weekend to finish runner-up, for the second time this season, on the very last stage.
DMACK had played its joker before Finland to roll-out a new specification of gravel tyre for WRC 2 crews – and it worked perfectly. Frenchman Gilbert and UK’s Tom Cave used both the new medium compound GH44 and soft GS62B version of the DMG+22 to finish second and third in the hotly-contested category.
Those results were backed-up by third-placed Osian Pryce, who made it three DMACK cars in the top-four on his second prize drive event, and Max Vatanen in a pair of M-Sport Fiesta R5s.
Nicolas Ciamin took a debut win in the Junior WRC category and also won the WRC 3 feeder series.
Rally Finland began on Thursday evening with the Harju stage in the centre of Jyväskylä but then crews faced a huge 16-hour day on Friday with 145km of action. Saturday saw two runs over the iconic Ouninpohja test, the longest of the rally, while four stages on Sunday finished off the hectic weekend.
Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “It has been an incredible weekend and another milestone for DMACK on a classic rally. We have plans now to play our gravel and asphalt jokers, introducing new tyres to try and give Elfyn an advantage, still aiming for our first overall win. The results in the support categories just prove how competitive our customer tyre package is now.”
Elfyn Evans, said: “We certainly wouldn’t have expected to be second on Friday but we got the car working better and the weather stayed dry so we were able to push hard. The battle today was fantastic and this result was important for us, DMACK and the M-Sport team.”