Former World Champion Ari Vatanen will lead a masterclass for the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy crews to help them prepare for the high-speed challenge of Neste Oil Rally Finland.
The Finn, a two-time winner here, will share secrets on how to master the specialist stages at a briefing in Jyvaskyla on Thursday, shortly before the 12 crews embark on the third round of the DMACK Trophy.
Here’s a round up of the latest Trophy news ahead of the Finnish action:
Series leader Sander Parn’s confidence is high as he comes to the event poised for a hat-trick of victories after winning the opening two rounds. Parn has tackled Finland three times before, and was second in the JWRC class last year at the wheel of the same R2 spec Fiesta he will drive this week. He scored a dominant two-wheel-drive win on his home event of Rally Estonia earlier this month as part of his preparation.
Briton Tom Cave is second in the trophy standings but is determined to put up a fight. It will be his first attempt at the event and he’s been working hard on improving his pacenotes and tested his car’s set-up in Finland at the weekend. Cave said: “We showed good speed in Poland and we need a strong finish here to keep our championship hopes alive but I believe we can win in Finland.”
Ari’s son Max Vatanen will make an emotional debut on his home round of the WRC. “Since my childhood I have been spectating in Rally Finland nearly every summer,” the 23-year-old explained. “As a Finn the rally is very special, it's like a myth and now being able to compete in front of my home crowd and family will be a dream come true.” Max’s Finland debut comes exactly 40 years after his father’s in 1974. Ari drove an Opel Ascona on that occasion, and he didn’t finish.
Two of the drivers have changed co-drivers. Jose Suarez has brought in Spaniard Borja Rozada, who finished sixth overall alongside Benito Guerra at Rally Mexico this year. Leo Urlichich has a formed a new partnership with Darren Garrod from Wales.
DMACK will supply crews with its soft compound G62 tyre for the first time this season.
The 12 registered runners will be joined by four additional Shoot-Out entries competing in their own cars on DMACK tyres with the hope of winning a place in the final to win a one-off R5 drive.
For more information about the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy visit DriveDMACK.com