GREECE, HARD TYRES RETURN TO THE SCENE FOR THE MOST CHALLENGING RALLY OF THE SEASON
Alongside the Scorpion KX WRC hard tyres also available are soft-compound tyres, which have been the preferred choice of drivers so far during the season
Tyres put to the test in terms of endurance by Greece's twisty mountain dirt roads
Testoni: "Great attention must be paid to wear, which at the Acropolis Rally in dry conditions can be much greater than that encountered in other races"
Dust, sharp rocks and boulders, hard and abrasive surfaces, twisty mountain tracks, and often scorching temperatures. These are the challenges that tyres and cars will have to face, as per tradition, at the Rally of Greece, which this year features some innovations compared to the 2021 edition. These include the debut of previously unseen special stages, such as Friday's Dafni and Sunday's Elatia Regini, and the return of some historic ones, such as Thursday's opening at the Olympic Stadium in Athens and the Perivoli, last contested in 2005.
WHY TYRES MATTER IN GREECE
After the evening test in the capital, the race gets right into the swing of things from the next day on the rugged roads of the Peloponnese, where six special stages, totaling 108.31 kilometers, are scheduled, with no service but only a tyre change scheduled for mid-day. Even tougher are the special stages on Saturday, the longest day of the rally: about 150 kilometers, or nearly half of the 303.3 kilometers in 16 stages of the entire race. Also on Saturday, the drivers will have to tackle the Pyrgos stage, which at 33.2 kilometers is the longest of the weekend, and the Tarzan, among the most challenging of the entire championship with its with its inclines and jolts. Short and relatively quieter is the Sunday stage, of only 3 stages for 45.06 kilometers. Common to all stages is the nature of the gravel roads, which demand great reliability, toughness, and wear resistance from the tyres. While grip is never a problem, the dangers to tyres and suspension come from rocks and stones.
For this race:
Hard-compound Scorpion for the most abrasive surfaces is the prime.
Soft-compound Scorpion for slippery bottoms, is the option, which may prove to be the most successful choice for drivers who start in the top positions and find dirtier surfaces.
Terenzio Testoni, rally activity manager: "The Rally of Greece promises to be more exciting than usual this year, not only because of the traditional challenges it poses to the drivers, but also because it falls at a stage of the season when the Championship can still hold many surprises. Acropolis is the classic race in which mistakes in strategy and tire management, as well as in driving, can come at a very high cost. In the end, the best chances of victory will be taken by those who adopt the best balanced car set-up and take the best care of the tyres, knowing how to make the most of their characteristics, balanced between robustness and performance. Great attention should be given to wear, which last year was almost zero due to the wet weather conditions and which on dry surfaces can, on the other hand, be very high and in any case higher than what we have seen in other races."
THE PIRELLI TYRES IN GREECE
Pirelli brings 520 tyres for Rally1 cars to Greece. Each car can fit a total of up to 28 tyres throughout the race including 4 for the eventual shakedown.
The allocations for the top category are:
- 24 tyres for the Scorpion KX WRC HA
- 8 for the Scorpion KX WRC SA.
- 4 extra tyres of a compound of the crew's choice, in case of participation in the shakedown.
Pirelli also provides 1,800 tyres to the other 4-wheel drive categories, which can use up to a maximum of 26 tyres per car, including the shakedown. The allocations for each crew are:
- for the hard compound prime, 22 Scorpion K4B for WRC2 and 22 K4 for WRC3.
- for the soft-compound option, 8 Scorpion K6B for WRC2 and 8 K6 for WRC3
- 4 extra tyres of a compound of the crew's choice, in case of shakedown participation.
Pirelli is also the exclusive supplier of the FIA Junior WRC, which is holding its last race of the season in Greece, whose equipment is:
- 22 Scorpion K4
- 6 Scorpion K6