ACROPOLIS RALLY, WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH THE HARD TYRES ARE BACK IN THE LIMELIGHT
Scorpion KX WRC hard tyres a must for the toughest race in the world championship
High heat, hard surfaces and twisty tracks the major challenges of the race that will have no service on Friday
Testoni: "Attention to wear, tyre management is crucial in a rally where every mistake can cost a lot"
After three rounds in which, from Kenya to Finland via Estonia, the soft Scorpion tyres ruled the day, the hard version of Pirelli's gravel tyres is back on stage. And it couldn't be any other way: the Acropolis Rally, as well as being one of the most legendary in the WRC, is also the toughest of the season for drivers, cars and tyres. What makes the often grueling Greek event, which this year will see a total of 72 crews - including 10 Rally1s - involved, are several concomitant factors:
- winding mountain roads
- generally very high, if not torrid temperatures
- dusty but hard-packed roads that favour drivers starting later
- the significant deterioration of the conditions of the special stages on the second passages
In addition to these typical Greek challenges, this year there will be an opening stage without assistance, but with only a tyre fitting zone at Loutraki for the mid-day tyre change, and the length of Saturday's stages, each of 70.76 competitive kilometres. These include the longest stage of the weekend, Karoutes, an extended, downhill version of last year's Bauxites. The famous Tarzan stage precedes the new Grammeni Power Stage on Sunday.
Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli Rally Activity Manager: "Although the road surfaces of the special stages have become less aggressive than in the past, the Acropolis remains one of the toughest races of the entire season, in which errors in strategy and tyre management, as well as in driving, can have a very high cost. The best chance of victory goes to those who are most careful with their tyres, knowing how to make the most of their characteristics, balanced between robustness and performance. Great attention must be paid to wear”.
For this race the first choice is the hard version of the Scorpion KX s, tyres capable of ensuring strength and durability even in the longest stages, with the most abrasive surfaces and at the highest temperatures. Option will be the soft-compound Scorpion KX SAs, which have great versatility and are able to guarantee optimum grip even on slippery surfaces and with less grip.
The regulations provide for an allocation of 24 and eight tyres respectively for the prime and option, to which must be added four for the shakedown, in the compound chosen by the crew.
The WRC2 and WRC3 cars will be fitted with tyres from the Scorpion K range which share many of the characteristics of the KXs developed for the Rally1 cars. Rally2 cars will be fitted with K4B (hard) and K6B (soft) versions, while Rally3 cars have K4A (hard) and K6A (soft) available.
For these car categories, the allocations are 22 and 8 tyres for the prime and option respectively, to which must be added a set for the shakedown.