HOME SOIL IN SARDINIA FOR PIRELLI SCORPION WRC TYRES
Italian island hosts Pirelli’s home round of the WRC
Abrasive and rocky roads a tough test bed for tyres
Some of the highest temperatures of the season expected
After the Rally de Portugal, the FIA World Rally Championship encounters another tough gravel event at Rally Italia Sardegna, which also serves as a home round for Pirelli.
Why tyres matter in Sardinia
The Italian island of Sardinia usually serves up some of the highest temperatures seen during a WRC season with heat in excess of 30 degrees centigrade. The roads have a hard base with a sandy surface that gets swept away to expose sharp rocks and deep ruts for the second pass.
The Pirelli tyres in Sardinia
Scorpion KX WRC: Pirelli’s gravel rally tyre for the top category comes in two compounds, both of which have been updated for the 2022 season with reinforced structures and a design optimised for the extra weight and torque of the latest Rally1 cars. For Sardinia, the hard HA is the main choice offering durability for the most abrasive surfaces, with the soft SA as an alternative providing optimal grip in cooler or damp conditions.
Scorpion K: Gravel tyres for the less powerful Rally2 cars in WRC2 and Rally3 cars in WRC3 also come in hard and soft compounds – featuring many of the same characteristics of the KX fitted to the top cars. The Rally2 tyres are the K4A (hard) and K6A (soft): for Rally3 it’s K4 and K6.
Terenzio Testoni, rally activity manager: “The first gravel event of the season in Portugal already gave us some very extreme conditions, tougher than anybody was expecting. Sardinia on the other hand is always a demanding rally, with the roads liable to deteriorate badly during the second run through the stages. The weather should be more stable and with higher temperatures, which makes the hard compound the clear main choice but with the extra grip of the soft also providing the teams with an interesting option.”
Pirelli in numbers
Pirelli will bring around 1500 tyres to Sardinia, of which 480 will be for the top class of Rally1 cars.
Each Rally1 driver can use up to 28 tyres during the rally, including shakedown. A new rule for gravel events in 2022 means each driver can choose an extra four tyres of either compound ahead of shakedown, in addition to the standard allocation of:
- 24 Scorpion KX WRC HA
- 8 Scorpion KX WRC SA
Pirelli will also supply 1000 tyres to the other four-wheel drive cars in the event, including those entered in WRC2 and WRC3:
- 22 Scorpion K4A (K4 for Rally3)
- 8 Scorpion K6A (K6 for Rally3)
- A maximum of 26 tyres are allowed to be used (including shakedown, for which an extra four tyres can be chosen)
What to look out for
The rally in Sardinia has a unique itinerary compared to other WRC rounds, with the first and second pass of each stage needing be tackled as part of the same loop with the same set of tyres. This makes tyre choice a compromise between grip and durability.