Evans & Vatanen Back in British Rallying with DMACK
World rally star Elfyn Evans and Finnish sensation Max Vatanen will spearhead DMACK’s challenge on the revitalised 2016 MSA British Rally Championship. The two drivers are hoping to follow in the footsteps of their fathers, both former British rally champions, when they tackle the UK’s premier rally series for the DMACK British Rally Team.
Welshman Evans, 27 from Dolgellau in mid-Wales, comes from a full World Rally Championship season with the M-Sport team. He scored two podiums last year, with a career-best second on the Tour de Corse in October, and will certainly be a contender for the coveted British title.
His father Gwyndaf was crowned British champion 20 years ago in 1996 and finished runner-up four times. Elfyn will dovetail his title challenge at the wheel of the team’s Ford Fiesta R5 with a WRC 2 campaign for M-Sport and will be co-driven by Craig Parry.
The iconic Vatanen name also returns to the UK. Forty years after rally legend, former world champion and current DMACK brand ambassador Ari Vatanen claimed the British title, his 25-year-old son Max will tackle the series. Max has competed in the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy for the past two seasons but makes the step up to four-wheel-drive for the first time this year.
Both Ford Fiesta R5s will be equipped with the latest generation DMACK tyres. The tyre manufacturer has used the world series to develop its products and will have a new and upgraded range of gravel and asphalt products available for competitors in all classes of the BRC this year.
DMACK is also providing a huge prize for the sport’s up-and-coming young stars. The winner of the DMACK Junior BRC will receive a helping hand into the WRC with a scholarship to the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy worth £60,000.
This year’s invigorated BRC is set to be one of the most exciting championships in recent years with the UK’s top events across England, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales promising a fierce challenge. The series kicks into action with the Mid Wales Stages on 5-6 March.
Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “We are really excited with the revived BRC and keen to be involved. Committing to a two-car campaign was the obvious choice for us and we have a really enthusiastic line-up with Elfyn and Max. Not only are they up for the challenge but there’s a huge historical significance with their fathers both being former British Rally Champions. Elfyn’s presence in the BRC will really help young drivers progress as I believe he will provide a competitive benchmark and give them something to aim for.”
Elfyn Evans said: “It’s great to be back in the BRC during a revival year which sees the championship organisers putting so much effort into getting the series back to a high level. It’s also exciting to join the DMACK team alongside Max and to start our campaign on my home event at the Mid Wales Stages will definitely be a special feeling. While I will be pushing on every rally, the events will also provide us with valuable seat time in the Ford Fiesta R5 for our challenge in the WRC 2 championship.”
Max Vatanen said: “I’ve heard so much about the stages in the BRC so I’m really looking forward to the first event. The championship will provide me with some great experience and the support from my father and my new team-mate Elfyn will be extremely valuable. I don’t have much knowledge of the UK, especially on Tarmac, so it will be a big learning season for me but I’m ready for the challenge it brings.”