Andreucci and Perico boost Pirelli challenge with two Peugeot 208 T16s in Friuli
The Italian Rally Championship is back on asphalt later this week when Rally del Friuli Venezia Giulia in the northeast of the country hosts the sixth round of the eight-event season from August 28-30.
|Paolo Andreucci will be back in action with Pirelli|
Pirelli has high hopes of success on the rally’s 50th anniversary edition with multiple champion Paolo Andreucci third in the standings after he won the previous all-gravel round in San Marino in his Peugeot 208 T16. And the Pirelli challenge will be bolstered on the 11-stage event with Alessandro Perico competing in a second new-generation Peugeot. Stefano Albertini will be a contender for R2-class honours in a 208 R2. Elsewhere, Fabrizio Andolfi Jr tops the Pirelli-equipped Trofeo Clio R3, which has attracted a record 11 entries. Luca Panzani, meanwhile, is the leading Twingo R2 competitor, which use Pirelli tyres as standard.
Rally del Friuli Venezia Giulia begins on Friday afternoon (August 29) and finishes on Saturday afternoon following 150.72 kilometres of competitive action. Leading Pirelli drivers on Rally del Friuli Venezia Giulia Paolo Andreucci, who is nine points off the title lead alongside co-driver Anna Andreussi, is the rally’s third seed and the top Pirelli runner for the Peugeot Italia-backed Racing Lions team. The Pirelli line-up includes: Paolo Andreucci/Anna Andreussi (Peugeot 208T16) Alessandro Perico/Mauro Turati (Peugeot 208T16) Alessandro Bosca/Roberto Aresca (Peugeot 207 S2000) The tyres available Pirelli will equip drivers with its RX tyres. Utilising a bespoke tread pattern, the RX5C is for warm and dry conditions with the RX7A ideally suited in case of intermediate mixed conditions. The RX5 will be the tyre that is most likely to be used on the event. The latest evolutions of the RX family ensure maximum durability and efficiency even in the most extreme conditions. The square profile and rigid structure of the tyre is designed to offer a rapid turn-in: the biggest strength of this tyre is the speed of its response and consistency. In case of wet conditions, the RE7 tyre is also available: a full wet tyre that is able to safely and efficiently cope with rainy conditions and standing water. Quotes Paolo Andreucci, Pirelli driver: “This rally is one of the toughest events of the year for the tyres as the route is very tortuous: you need a consistent and durable tyre that offers the maximum steering precision. The biggest question mark as always in Northern Italy at this time of year will be the weather: it’s quite possible that we will see rain and a wide variety of temperatures, meaning that we will need a tyre that works well all types of conditions. I know the RX tyre well and I know that it is capable of providing us with what we need to win. I’ve won the rally before and from a personal point of view I would love to win it again as it is the home event for my co-driver Anna: it would be fantastic for her to have another victory at home, so we will be trying very hard.” Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli product manager: “The Italian Rally Championship resumes after a long break and it’s good that we see some action again – on one of the most demanding events of the year. We are using the latest evolution of the RX tyres, which are designed to offer increased consistency and grip. We have a medium RX7A compound and harder RX5C compound available to use depending on the conditions. In the normal course of events we should use mainly the harder compound but this will depend on the weather. For the first time we equip two R5 Peugeots on the Italian Championship, as Perico makes his debut in the 208. He is a privateer driver who has tasted plenty of success with Pirelli in the past, including rally wins, and we are sure that he will make the best use of our tyres once more with this latest opportunity, proving that you do not have to be a factory driver to be challenging at the front.”
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