FINLAND, SOFT TYRES FOR THE FASTEST RALLY OF THE YEAR
As per tradition, soft compound gravel tyres will be first for the so-called Grand Prix of Finland
The weather threatens intermittent rain with temperatures between 13 and 23 degrees
Testoni: "It's the classic race that the one who makes the least mistakes wins and on these slippery and often wet grounds it's easy to make mistakes"
The fastest rally in the championship, also known as the Grand Prix of Finland, returns to the roads around Jyvaskyla for the ninth round of the WRC season, the sixth on gravel, which last year was the scene of a tight race right up to the last special stage.
Unlike last year's race, which was practically a multi-season rally with varying conditions from summer to autumn, this year's weather forecast announces intermittent rain and low temperatures in the morning and highs of 23 degrees for the entire weekend.
The likely higher humidity on the road surfaces will only accentuate the characteristics of a rally generally dominated by the Finns, who know how to juggle better than others on the straight and fast tracks of their home forests, alternated with more technical sections. The main threats to drivers, cars and tyres notoriously relate to the low grip, despite the very high top and average speeds, and the very long jumps, which require the cars to jump up to almost 60 metres.
Terenzio Testoni, rally activity manager: "Finland is the terrain of choice for our soft tyres, which will be put to the test, even though in terms of working range and robustness they have the characteristics to ensure grip on the most slippery surfaces and to withstand the strong impacts of the very long jumps. The speeds are so high and the desire to win an iconic rally so strong that it is very easy to make mistakes, but those who make mistakes have little margin for recovery here. That's why the best strategy is to optimise the management of the tyres available, which will suffer little wear but many blows, trying to make the most of them in every situation. Last year this was the key to Ott Tanak's victory over Kalle Rovanpera, himself a master in knowing how to make the most of the potential of the tyres, especially in these kinds of conditions".
PIRELLI TYRES IN FINLAND
The tyres available in the various categories for this rally are:
Scorpion KX WRC, the Pirelli gravel tyre developed for the top category is available for the Rally1 cars in two compounds, both in evolution 2022, which features reinforced structures and an optimised design. Given the slippery nature of Estonian road surfaces, it is inevitable that the first is the soft-compound Scorpion SA to ensure optimum grip even on surfaces with less. The hard HA compound - which offers greater resistance to the most abrasive surfaces and greater durability - is the option.
The regulations stipulate an allocation of 24 and eight tyres respectively for the prime and option, to which four must be added for the shakedown, in the compound chosen by the crew.
Scorpion K: the gravel tyres for WRC2 and WRC3 are also available in hard and soft compounds and share many of the same characteristics as the KX. In Estonia, Rally2 cars will use the soft K6B and hard K4B compounds, while Rally3 cars will use the soft K6A and hard K4A compounds.
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.
Pirelli is also the exclusive supplier to the FIA Junior WRC, which will have at its disposal:
- 22 soft K6 Scorpions
- 6 Scorpion K4 hard