IRC: Positive debut in Turkey for the cars on Pirelli


Having made a good start, Travaglia experienced turbo and set-up problems.
The Hondas driven by Solà and Betti go well and Kazaz, the 2006 Turkish rally champion put up an optimum performance.

Istanbul, 13 May 2007 - Renato Travaglia fifth in the Mitsubishi and Erçan Kazaz ninth in the Subaru Impreza STi, both competing in Group N, were the drivers on Pirelli PZero who reached the top 10 in the 36th Fiat Rally, second round in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, which ended today on the outskirts of Istanbul. The Italian, in the Lancer Evo IX, defended himself extremely well in the early stages of the event before various mechanical problems delayed him considerably.

A broken turbo in the closing moments of the finale compromised the recovery of Renato, one of Pirelli Competizioni's top drivers in the IRC. He said, "A broken turbo is all I needed, but if I think of all the problems I experienced I am pleased with a result that earned useful points towards the IRC and also for the European Championship as well as with the completely new car, for which the rally was a severe test in harsh conditions: those of the race".

The new Honda Civic Type-R also made its debut in the Turkish rally on PZero tyres with cars entered for Dani Solà and Luca Betti. While practically never having tried the car extensively on surfaces like the demanding loose of Turkey, Spaniard Solà was for long the best of the two-wheel drive cars, before having to give up due to engine failure. Betti, from Piedmont, Italy, drove his Honda to third place among the two-wheel drive cars. The Honda-Pirelli showed promise in a difficult debut on the gruelling loose surfaces of Anatolia.

Mario Isola, Rally Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, underlined the positive performances of Travaglia and the Hondas, despite the teething troubles that made themselves felt, especially during the second and final leg. He said, "The result of Erçan Kazaz is also worthy of note, a man who has always defended Pirelli's colours in Turkey. As far as the performance of our products is concerned, it should be said that the PZeros with the K tread patterns (K2 and K4) turned out to be a good choice for such a demanding rally. The drivers faced unpredictable conditions, with gravel, sharp stones and hard surfaces on the same stage. The fact is that of the top drivers on Pirelli the broken turbo and set-up problems experienced by Travaglia and the engine breakdown of Solà to a great extent compromised an overall result that was still encouraging".

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