Awesome Aasen Wins Dramatic DMACK Fiesta Title

Awesome Aasen Wins Dramatic DMACK Fiesta Title

Marius Aasen landed the biggest prize in rallying today as he won the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy in style. Victory at the final race of the five-event season, in Spain, saw 23-year-old Aasen and his co-driver Veronica Engan finish on top of the championship podium. This followed a thrilling battle with his rivals, which went right down to the wire.

Seven crews were in with a mathematical chance of winning the title heading into the mixed surface RallyRACC-Rally de Espana. Aasen, from Norway, who led by five points going into the final event, took a gigantic stride towards the top prize as he finished the gravel section on Friday night ahead of his fellow drivers.

And as the action switched to Tarmac roads around the host town of Salou on Saturday and Sunday, he kept his nose in front. Aasen was ultra-consistent and also posted some super quick times as he pulled away from his rivals and took the chequered flag.

This success in Spain - his second rally triumph of the season - was just reward for Aasen, who undertook some asphalt driver training ahead of what proved to be a fantastic finale. This has allowed him and Engan to claim the ultimate Trophy prize - a lucrative full seven-round series of 2016 WRC 2 competition using a Drive DMACK Ford Fiesta R5.

Aasen's victory came at the end of a titanic battle for the top spot which was only settled on the final day of competition. He was one of four different drivers who had celebrated rally wins earlier in the campaign, the others being Max Vatanen, Tom Cave and Ghislain de Mevius.

Welshman Cave, last year's Trophy runner-up, again had to settle for second place overall and was third on the podium in Spain. The 23-year-old, along with co-driver Craig Parry, endured a difficult weekend. Cave's attempts to chase down the championship leader were hampered when he slid off the road and lost over eight minutes during stage 19 today.

Taking second place this weekend was the Aussie brother and sister pairing of Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Gelsomino, making a one-off appearance at the final event. Max Vatanen and Jacques-Julien Renucci, who won the opening rally of the season in Portugal, took third place in the final championship standings. The 25-year-old Finn won the 2014 Rookie title in the Trophy's inaugural campaign.

Eighteen-year-old Brit Gus Greensmith showed his huge potential as he was crowned top Rookie, securing an invite to the end-of-year shootout for a prize drive. Greensmith and co-driver Elliott Edmondson triumphed after an enthralling battle with Mats van den Brand, who crashed out on stage three after a high-speed accident.

De Mevius' championship hopes came to an end as he was forced to retire from the action early on both Friday and Saturday with damaged suspension. Kevin van Deijne finished fourth today while Edoardo Bresolin from Italy was sixth. Northern Ireland’s Jon Armstrong, who was making a one-off Trophy drive in Spain, won the Vatanen Touch nomination for the end-of-term shootout.

It has been a superb second season of action in the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy, which aims to provide a cost-effective platform for upcoming drivers to experience the FIA World Rally Championship. Crews competed in identical sustainable GEM fuel-powered Ford Fiesta R2 cars, equipped this year with Ford's 1.0 litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine,

The cars were shod with DMACK tyres and built and prepared by M-Sport Poland’s dedicated team of mechanics, who gave unstinting support to the drivers and their co-pilots throughout the Trophy campaign.

Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “It’s been another hugely successful season with Marius and Veronica well-deserving winners of the title and the massive prize we provide. M-Sport has done another sterling job with the series and it’s fantastic that we can provide an affordable platform which gives young drivers the chance to experience WRC events.”

Malcolm Wilson, M-Sport managing director, said: “Congratulations to Marius and Veronica who have worked tirelessly throughout the season. I know that they will make the most of what is the best prize in rallying and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do behind the wheel of the Ford Fiesta R5 next year.

“Commiserations to Tom because he pushed hard all weekend. This has been a great season with some of the closest-fought competition in the entire FIA World Rally Championship. It was also fantastic to see the 1.0 litre EcoBoost engine Fiesta performing so well all year. At almost every event, the fastest DDFT competitor has beaten all but a couple of the J-WRC contenders – proving the performance and reliability of the Fiesta as well as the speed and talent of this year’s drivers.”

Driver Quotes
Marius Aasen from Norway said: “It truly is an amazing feeling to win the DMACK Fiesta championship, we’ve both worked so hard this year to put ourselves in this position. It’s unbelievable that we have actually done it. I had a really safe rally and a very good feeling with the car all weekend. Now we’ve actually achieved it, I aim to make the best possible use of this fantastic prize.”

Mats van den Brand from Netherlands said: “I’m so disappointed for the rally and season to have finished the way it has. I was really looking forward to the dual surfaces of Spain and to compete again on asphalt and was so motivated. But we had a mega crash and that was the end to a disappointing season for me. I wanted to compete with the likes of Vatanen, Cave and de Mevius and thanks to DMACK and M-Sport I had that opportunity.”

Edoardo Bresolin from Italy said: “The experience has been positive for me, especially as this was my first time driving on Tarmac in a two-wheel-drive car. It’s been worthwhile as I got to compete on new roads and surfaces as well as recce stages that will be useful in the future. The level of driving has been quite high and you can tell from the stage times, It proves this is a competitive championship and it pushes you to go faster and learn quicker.”

Tom Cave from UK said: “I tried and really gave it my best shot but it wasn’t to be. It’s been a very challenging year, more so than 2014, and it was an unknown with the new car and competition. We had the pace here this weekend and set good times. It’s been a really positive season for me and I’ve definitely progressed as a driver with the experience I’ve gained.”

Kevin van Deijne from Netherlands said: “The competition has been tough this year and more like survival for me. I didn’t expect it to be like this and wanted the season to be more smooth and consistent. But on the most part it’s been lots of fun and a really great way for me to get more experience and that’s the main thing I think.”

Gus Greensmith from UK said: “Joining the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy was the best thing for me to do at this point in my career. I’ve enjoyed it so much and to compete against some of the top young drivers really lets you know where you are. I hope I’ll be able to participate next year but for now I’m kind of disappointed it’s over. It was my aim to win the Rookie award. I would have liked a podium win too but I think my commitment has shown and I’ve proved my desire to compete.”

Ghislain de Mevius from Belgium said: “I was really happy with my driving on gravel during Friday and we were actually in the lead before the crash. We were also showing good speed on the Tarmac and then we had the problem. Again, it’s been an amazing experience competing in the DDFT. When I compare my speed, my accuracy and my lines from this year to last year, it’s obvious I have improved a lot.”

Guillaume de Mevius from Belgium said: “It’s been a very nice experience for me as it’s my first big event. I learnt a lot on the recce about the two surfaces and their differences. Being involved in a big team like this has been a great learning experience for me. It is a shame about the first day and the lack of distance covered. To drive in front of this many spectators has been great.”

Brendan Reeves from Australia said: “This rally has been a big challenge for me and I don’t think you can ever prepare enough. I forgot after three years not competing at this level how much it can take out of you. It was always going to be tough jumping into a new car and competing against some of these fast drivers but it’s gone well. I’m stoked with second place considering we weren’t sure how it was going to go, but we drove for the podium and it’s paid off.”

Max Vatanen from Finland said: “We haven’t had a great weekend and it’s been frustrating that we weren’t able to challenge for the championship title. Because of the problems, it has been a difficult rally and not the way I wanted to end the season. Overall it’s been a good year though and we’ve progressed forward quite a bit.”

Jon Armstrong from Northern Ireland said: “We came here to win the shoot-out opportunity and to hear we’ve been given the nominatiton is great. It’s been a tough event but we got to the end without breaking the car so I’m happy. On the last stage we had a bit of a scare coming over a crest so it’s good to get to the finish. Hopefully we will be competing in the series in 2016.”

Final Classification
1. Marius Aasen / Veronica Engan 3hr 45min 36.2sec
2. Brendan Reeves / Rhianon Gelsomino 3hr 47min 15.5sec
3. Tom Cave / Craig Parry 3hr 54min 29.7sec
4. Kevin van Deijne / Hein Verschuuren 4hr 00min 40.0sec
5. Max Vatanen / Jacques-Julien Renucci 4hr 06min 49.1sec
6. Edoardo Bresolin / Rudy Pollet 4hr 16min 46.8sec
7. Gus Greensmith / Elliott Edmondson 4hr 21min 37.2sec
8. Guillaume de Mevius / Geoffrey Brion 4hr 43min 33.7sec
9. Ghislain de Mevius / Johan Jalet 4hr 58min 30.0sec

Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy final standings
1. Marius Aasen / Veronica Engan 132
2. Tom Cave / Craig Parry 115
2. Max Vatanen / Jacques-Julien Renucci 96
4. Ghislain de Mevius / Johan Jalet 80
5. Kevin van Deijne / Hein Verschuuren 53
6. Gus Greensmith / Elliott Edmondson 48
7. Mats van den Brand / Martijn Wydaeghe 39
8. Edoardo Bresolin / Rudy Pollet 1
9. Will Hudson / Alex Gelsomino 0
10. Nil Solans / Miguel Ibanez 0
11. Nicolas Amiouni / Joseph Matar 0

25-10-2015

Awsome Aasen
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