|Quentin Giordano claimed a debut WRC2 podium with Pirelli
Pirelli-equipped Citroen privateer Quentin Giordano has finished on the WRC2 podium at Rallye Deutschland in Germany, after an exciting battle with reigning champion (and Dakar Rally winner) Nasser Al-Attiyah.
The fight for the top places in Germany went down to the final day, with Giordano holding off the experienced Al-Attiyah over the last four stages of the rally to seal a memorable debut podium.
“It was very exciting because this is all new to me and it’s fantastic to fight with someone like Nasser who has so much experience,” said Giordano, driving a Citroen DS3 Regional Rally Car. “The car and the tyres have been very good, and I am really happy with this result against some really strong rivals.”
Pirelli’s World Rally Car drivers were not so fortunate, for a wide variety of reasons: Robert Kubica’s rally was effectively over before it had begun, as he picked up a five-minute penalty for an engine change before the start. The Polish star then had to resort to Super Rally after going off on the notorious Panzerplatte stage during the afternoon of day two.
Italy’s Lorenzo Bertelli didn’t even start the rally as a result of food poisoning, while Czech driver Martin Prokop was also delayed after going off the road, additionally suffering tyre damage as the result of a driveshaft breakage. He eventually retired on the final day.
In order to cope with the varied asphalt conditions of Rallye Deutschland, featuring surfaces ranging from smooth and slippery vineyard roads to rough and broken concrete in Panzerplatte, the Pirelli drivers relied on the P Zero RKH hard compound and RKS soft compound. This is a tyre developed to provide optimal performance on a wide range of asphalt surfaces, just like the P Zero tyres for the road.
With the weather in Germany remaining unusually warm throughout the weekend, featuring asphalt temperatures of 35 degrees centigrade, only the hard compound was used from start to finish. It provided enough performance to enable Giordano to fight against some of the latest state of the art rally cars in WRC2.
Ukrainian driver Yuriy Protasov was not registered for WRC2 points in Germany but put in a stellar performance on Pirelli tyres to gain asphalt experience, setting top three times in the category and eventually finishing 15th overall in his Ford Fiesta R5.
Pirelli product manager Terenzio Testoni commented: “Germany once again underlined its reputation as being one of the toughest asphalt rallies of them all, with a very high attrition rate. Nonetheless, we are satisfied with the performance of the RKH tyres during their first appearance on the World Rally Championship, even though many of our drivers were unlucky here due to technical problems or other incidents. In particular, this was the first time that these tyres have tackled the 45 kilometres of Panzerplatte in these extremely warm conditions, and the compound responded well to the challenge. Giordano managed to put in a particularly impressive performance by managing to hold off one of the fastest cars and drivers in the class to score a well-deserved first podium. This emphasises Pirelli’s philosophy this year of helping privateers to challenge the established frontrunners.”
The next round of the World Rally Championship is back on gravel in high temperatures, with Rally Australia at Coffs Coast from September 10-13.
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