New Pirelli PZero tyres debut in the 2011 Ferrari Challenge

Pirelli will debut a new version of its Ferrari Challenge PZero tyre when the European and Italian series get underway at the company's home circuit, Monza, this weekend. The Italian tyre manufacturer has been the sole supplier to the Ferrari Challenge championship since it was launched in 1993. This year's edition will feature the debut of the new Ferrari 458 Challenge car that will compete alongside the established F430 Challenge model. Pirelli will equip drivers with a new version of its PZero tyre, which will be available for wet and dry weather use. The tyre used by 458 Challenge competitors has been developed specifically with the Italian sportscar in mind. Developed throughout 2010, the new PZero rubber is an improved product that combines better grip and performance features, ensuring a higher degree of resistance and road holding. The new PZero tyres are different to those designed previously for the Ferrari Challenge, not only in terms of structure and compound but also in terms of size. With an increased tread width, the front tyre now measures 255/650-19 and the rear tyre 305/690-19. Paul Hembery, Pirelli's Motorsport Director, explained: "Our new rubber has been specifically designed for the 458 Challenge and just like this new Ferrari car it is a highly competitive product. We focused on giving our new tyres increased performance and advanced technical features. Both the structure and the compound are different, meaning that our new tyres not only have a greater on-track performance, but they will ensure consistent lap times thanks to an improved degree of degradation." Monza, the home of the Italian Grand Prix, measures 5.793 kilometres in length and its combination of high- and low-speed corners puts a huge strain on tyres. "From a tyre perspective, Monza is a highly demanding track in terms of speed levels and of stresses that the rubber is likely to have to deal with," Hembery continued. "Monza has many hard braking areas and severe corners. In other words, it will be a challenging start." The opening Ferrari Challenge event of 2011 will get underway on Friday with free practice sessions, followed by qualifying and the first races on Saturday. Sunday is devoted entirely to racing and Pirelli will supply two sets of slick dry weather tyres and one set of wet weather tyres to each car for the duration of the event. The Ferrari Challenge comprises two different categories: Coppa Shell is for complete racing novices, while the Trofeo Pirelli is for those drivers with more competition experience. Drivers compete on track at the same time although there are different classifications for both divisions. Pirelli and Ferrari have been working together for more than 50 years and for nearly 20 years the Italian tyre manufacturer has supported the legendary car brand's Ferrari Challenge, which has competitions in Italy, Europe, North America and, for the first time, a new Asia Pacific series. For further information, please contact: Laura Bartoli on laura@mediatica.co.uk  or +44 7500 877 304