FERRARI CHALLENGE, FOUR PIRELLI TEAMS AROUND THE WORLD TO SUPPORT THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS ONE-MAKE CHAMPIONSHIP
Pirelli and Ferrari have always been together, ever since the competition was created in 1992
The Ferrari Challenge Europa kicked off last weekend in Valencia, part of a rich international programme that touches three continents and the most iconic circuits
Two thousand five hundred tyres transported by six trucks and mounted on the 47 competing cars by a team of 15 people, plus technical and support staff totalling twenty. These are the main figures describing Pirelli's involvement in the Valencia round of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli, which took place last weekend and ended with the triumph of Manuela Gostner, Boris Gideon and Eliseo Donno, in their respective classes and categories. The Spanish race - which followed the one in Homestead (Florida) that opened the international season at the start of March - inaugurated the busy European programme of the series, which has seen Pirelli alongside Ferrari as the sole supplier ever since the competition was created 31 years ago, and on every continent where the one-make series is run.
The 2023 edition of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli promises to be particularly intense and interesting in terms of the number of races, the number of circuits involved and the geographical spread. This year, in fact, the non-European programme will be joined by the Ferrari Challenge Japan, with one of the three races to be held at Suzuka. The Japanese track joins other iconic circuits such as Silverstone, a race valid for the Ferrari Challenge UK, Monza, Spa, Spielberg and Abu Dhabi. Another circuit linked to the history of world motorsport, Le Mans, is also on the calendar this year.
Pirelli will support the Ferrari Challenge drivers with a dedicated team of engineers and fitters for each of the Trofeo's main geographical areas, making a total of four teams and around 70 experts involved. The product destined again this year for the Ferrari one-make is the P Zero DHB, the variant of the P Zero Pirelli specially developed for the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo
"The inclusion on the calendar of so many prestigious and challenging circuits," explains Matteo Braga, Pirelli's GT Activities Manager, "raises the bar for our commitment, but it also gives us the opportunity to collect valuable data in so many contexts and to receive confirmation of the extremely high versatility of the solution we have developed for the Ferrari Challenge, which has to adapt to profoundly different driving styles, conditions and tracks. The Ferrari Challenge has always offered us a dual opportunity: to test the sporty performance of our tyres in a competition at the highest level and to be close to amateur drivers, who outside the context of racing, well represent the tastes and tendencies of many drivers. The Ferrari one-make, in fact, in addition to being an exceptional platform for the development of products for other GT categories, is a laboratory for road tyres: many solutions born in recent years for the Ferrari Challenge have become, over time, standards for road tyres".
FROM THE FERRARI CHALLENGE TRACKS TO THE ROADS
For the Ferrari Challenge, the tyres are always developed in parallel with the car, as is often the case for the road cars of the brands with which Pirelli is a partner, using virtual design in the first phase, which helps to reduce outdoor sessions and the production of prototypes, allowing the car to take to the track right from the first test sessions with a tyre-car combination close to the target set. The work starts at least a year before the official launch in the Championship and aims to optimise drivability and performance for all types of drivers, in all asphalt conditions.
The productions for the Ferrari Challenge, as well as for the other motorsport categories, are a test bench and at the same time an opportunity for process optimisation also in terms of sustainability. Pirelli - the first tyre manufacturer in the world to be awarded the three stars of the Environmental Accreditation Programme promoted by the FIA for its commitment to sustainability in motorsport - aims to achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2030 with aggressive plans to replace the electricity purchased for all its factories from fossil fuels with 100% from renewable sources.
For the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo, arriving in 2020, Pirelli developed a completely new tyre. Particular attention was given to the materials and structure of the front tyres to maximise the car's optimised aerodynamics.
SEVEN SHOES FOR SEVEN QUEENS
The partnership between Pirelli and Ferrari in the Challenge has lasted since the most prestigious one-make championship was conceived in 1992. And it couldn't be any other way: the technological collaboration between the two brands is a constant in their history, on the track as well as on the road, so much so that it covers the entire life span of Ferrari and half that of Pirelli, which last year celebrated its 150th anniversary. In fact, the link between tyres with the long P and the Ferrari cars dates back to the very foundation of Ferrari in 1947.
Since the debut of the Ferrari Challenge in 1992, there have been seven road-going GTs cars of ever-increasing power, seven corresponding racing variants that are even more challenging, seven specific models of P Zero tyres, in a continuous exchange of experience and knowledge between competition and the road that have contributed in no small part, in terms of safety and reliability, to the evolution of the solutions provided by Pirelli to all motorists.
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