MONTE CARLO RALLYE, RALLY1 TYRES EVOLUTION 2023 TO DEBUT
Asphalt and gravel ranges aligned with growing car performance
Increased durability and reliability the main objectives of the interventions
Testoni: "We are satisfied with the work done side by side with the teams. Important indications for the entire season will come from Monte Carlo"
Consistent with the philosophy of continuous development that drives from year to year the evolution of tyers in all Motorsport categories for which Pirelli is a supplier, also for 2023 the tyers destined for Rally1 cars will be presented at the start with technological updates, which maximize the features of reliability already appreciated by the teams in the previous two seasons.
Some of the specifications optimized for 2023 will make their debut as early as the 91st Monte Carlo Rally, which traditionally kicks off the top rally season with one of the most demanding test beds in the entire championship, although less severe conditions are expected this year, with higher temperatures and less snow-covered surfaces than usual.
WHAT CHANGES AND WHAT STAYS THE SAME IN 2023
The evolution of the Rally1 tyers was completed by Pirelli engineers in agreement and with the collaboration of the teams and covered both the asphalt range (dry and wet, supersoft, soft and hard) and the gravel range (soft and hard). The new technical solutions introduced are not only aligned with the continuous and rapid development of the cars and the relentless increase in performance, but also anticipate their possible trajectories in the short and medium term.
To better withstand the increased speeds and powers - which together with the increasingly challenging racing conditions subject the tyres to increasing stress - the asphalt and gravel tyres in the WRC1 2023 range feature construction tricks that leave their performance characteristics unchanged, but maximize their overall strength and durability. The result is an even more reliable and competitive product range.
In particular, Pirelli engineers have worked to take the delicate balance between robustness and shock absorption capacity to a higher level in terms of strength. An excessively robust tyre, in fact, does not absorb the violence of impacts that end up affecting the car, putting its components at risk. The search for the right balance between elasticity and robustness is made even more complicated by the fact that the stresses suffered by rims, which are the most often damaged part of the wheel system as a whole, are also inevitably reflected on the tyre. While last season, in fact, there were only 41 punctures in 13 rallies, out of a total of nearly 3,500 tyres used in 148,000 kilometers of competition, damage to rims that also resulted in injury to tyres numbered several hundred.
No changes, on the other hand, were made to the compounds, which were confirmed without any variations, in full agreement with the teams, who were satisfied with both the performance and the wide working range shown.
Terenzio testoni, Pirelli Rally Activity Manager: "We arrive at the Monte Carlo Rally on the wings of two victories in very challenging open market races such as Dévoluy and the Jännerrally, achieved with two different drivers, Nikolay Gryazin and Adrien Fourmeaux, in two different cars. Above all, we arrive at the opening of the top season satisfied with the development work done, which has strengthened even more the collaboration with the teams and drivers, with whom we work constantly in synergy and with total identity of views. The updates in tyre characteristics, however slight, lead us to expect the season to unfold without any surprises. There will, of course, be no shortage of challenges and unknowns related to the teams' now total confidence in managing the increased power and weight of the hybrid cars, which subject the tyres to particularly intense stress. The Monte Carlo Rally will already be an important test for everyone, which will give significant indications on the continuation of the championship."
PIRELLI TYRES AT MONTE CARLO
P Zero RA WRC: The soft-compound version of the asphalt tyres optimized for 2023 makes its debut in the Monte Carlo race. It is the specification developed for the slipperiest dry asphalts.
Also making its debut is the new supersoft, the specification designed exclusively for the Monte Carlo rally, which requires asphalt tyres suitable for low temperatures.
Sottozero STZ-B: a highly versatile winter tyre intended for all car categories and designed for wet, snowy or mixed snow-ice surfaces. This specification is available in two versions: with or without studs.
Overall, Pirelli brings 800 tyres for Rally1 cars to Monte Carlo. Each driver in the top category has 80 tyers at his or her disposal, of which he or she can use up to 38 during the race, including four for the shakedown. For the rally, each car has a total allocation of:
- 24 P Zero RA Super Soft
- 20 P Zero RA Soft
- 24 Sottozero STZ-B studded.
- 12 Sottozero STZ-B without studs
In addition, Pirelli is also supplying 2700 tyres to the other all-wheel drive cars taking part in the event, including those entered in WRC2, which will have:
- 20 P Zero RA7+B
- 16 P Zero RA9
- 24 Sottozero STZ-B studded tyres
- 12 Sottozero STZ-B
A LOOK BACK AT LAST SEASON
Below, in the summary tables, are collected the main data regarding the use and performance of the different tyre types used during the 2022 championship, namely:
- the Scorpions for gravel, both soft and hard
- the PZeros, both soft and hard, and the Cinturato, the wet-weather tyres for asphalt
- The specific products for the Monte Carlo rally and the Swedish rally.
The data shows that the 14 drivers engaged in WRC1:
- They used a total of 3534 tyres, with Kalle Rovanpera and Thierry Neuville using the most (195 and 194 respectively) for an average of 28 per race
- They favored soft for gravel and hard for asphalt in their tyre choice, which was often a soft-compound single tyre in gravel races(Kenya, Estonia, New Zealand and partly Finland)
- They won Power Stages on gravel more often with soft (5 times) than hard, while in Power Stages on asphalt, the preferred tyre was hard (4 out of five races)
- They recorded a total of 41 punctures (understood as tread or sidewall damage involving air leakage and net of rips from hard hits), accounting for 1.16 percent of the tyres used and one for every 3,628 kilometers of special stages run, compared to hundreds of damaged rims, especially in some races such as Portugal and Kenya.