Peugeot Italia driver Paolo Andreucci is aiming to give the Peugeot 208 T16 its first Italian Rally Championship success on gravel, with the help of Pirelli’s renowned XR and K family of Scorpion tyres in San Marino this weekend: round five of the Italian Rally Championship.
The multiple Italian champion has already racked up a win on asphalt, at the famed Targa Florio, using Pirelli’s P Zero tyres – but a win on loose surfaces on only the car’s second gravel event on the Italian series is his ambitious objective.
The other leading Pirelli-backed drivers on the San Marino Rally include Stefano Albertini in a Peugeot 207 S2000. San Marino is also a round of the FIA European Historic Rally Championship, with Luigi Battistolli driving his usual Lancia Rally 037. Underlining its commitment to the next generation of rally stars, Pirelli additionally supplies the Renault Clio Trophy, competing within the Production class.
About the event:
The gravel roads around the independent state of San Marino are some of the best in Europe: low to medium speed with a hard base, loose gravel on the top, and stunning scenery. Rally San Marino is one of the most well established events in Italy, and it was formerly a round of the European Rally Championship.
|Andreucci will be back in action with Pirelli
It covers 12 stages on Friday and Saturday, totalling 120 competitive kilometres (four stages on Friday and eight on Saturday). The finish takes place at 19:15 in San Marino on Saturday.
Compared to last year, the route has changed and competitors will now cover approximately 17 kilometres of asphalt on the opening leg, using gravel tyres.
The tyres available:
The Pirelli drivers will use the XR and K family of Scorpion gravel tyres. The XR5 is the same tyre to one that is currently used on the World Rally Championship, designed using the latest techniques to present as big a contact patch to the ground as possible, for generally clean roads with a hard base.
For roads that have looser gravel on the surface, the well-known performance and durability of the K4, with its bespoke tread pattern and specially formulated compound, make it ideal to cut through loose stones and dirt.
Paolo Andreucci, Pirelli driver: “San Marino is one of the most demanding rallies of the Italian Championship, which is very tricky for the car and tyres: you’ve got challenging narrow roads, lots of stops and starts, and of course the heat of the summer. Since Sardinia we’ve worked on some settings with the car and the way that it works with the tyres, which can hopefully make the difference. We know that the tyres nominated from Pirelli are extremely effective and durable here, so we have everything on our side to push hard for the victory, even though the car is still very new. By the end of this event, you normally have a good idea of how the championship is looking, so it’s very important.”
Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli product manager: “We’re expecting warm summer temperatures for San Marino, so this is certainly going to increase the challenge. We’re taking the latest evolutions of the XR and the K to cover a wide range of possibilities and conditions. For loose gravel, the K pattern has proved to be extremely efficient at cutting through to the harder surface underneath. When you have cleaner stages, as is often the case during the second passage, the XR like we use on the World Rally Championship has the strength and performance to maximise the grip available and deliver extra speed due to its superior traction and braking, without compromising durability. The adaptability of our gravel tyres will also be shown on the opening day, when they will run on asphalt for 17 kilometres.”
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