Newly-homologated Pirelli RK tyres for Sanremo Rally

Pirelli will use yet another new range of tyres for the Sanremo Rally next weekend, the second round of the Italian Rally Championship, highlighting the Italian firm’s constant emphasis on fresh technology. The RK tyre has been developed for the latest FIA regulations, which now stipulate just one pattern for both wet and dry asphalt conditions. As well as cutting costs for competitors, this brings motorsport products even more closely in line with those for the road: another cornerstone of Pirelli’s philosophy. The RK design – originally made in 18-inch – has now been homologated in a range of different sizes, starting from 15-inch, which makes it suitable for the Junior classes as well. This year the famous Sanremo Rally – previously Italy’s round of the World Rally Championship – changes date from its usual slot in October to April 4-5. As a result, changeable and potentially wet conditions are likely on the 12 challenging Ligurian stages on the itinerary this year: making the role played by the tyres even more crucial than usual. Pirelli drivers in Sanremo Pirelli’s factory team – Peugeot Italia – enters a 208 T16 R5 for Paolo Andreucci, following the new car’s debut at the Ciocco Rally two weeks ago. In addition to Andreucci, the leading Pirelli runners include: Alessandro Perico/Manuel Fenoli (Peugeot 207 S2000) Andrea Nucita/Daniele Mangiarotti (Peugeot 207 S2000) Stefano Albertini/Silvia Mazzetti (Peugeot 208 R2) Fabrizio Andolfi/Andrea Casalini (Renault Twingo R2) Pirelli is also the exclusive supplier to the Renault Clio and Twingo single-make series. The tyres available Pirelli will bring four different compounds of the new RK tyre, which is designed for both dry and wet asphalt surfaces. The hardest compound available will be the RK5, while the softest compound is the RKW7. This compound provides high levels of grip even in extreme rain, despite maintaining the same basic tread pattern as used for dry conditions. The new RK tyres are also used on asphalt rounds in the FIA World and European championships. The Sanremo Rally also has a historic section, with Pirelli leading the way in historic rallying thanks to the introduction of the P7 Corsa Classic. This tyre combines modern technology with a classic look, making even the most fearsome Group B cars easier to drive. The P7 Corsa Classic follows the same philosophy as the RK, by having just one tread pattern for both dry and wet conditions, but specific wet weather compounds to provide grip in case of rain. The rules The latest tyre rules regarding a single tread pattern for both asphalt and gravel rallies was introduced last year, but this is the first complete season where the new regulations will take effect. In order to ensure sufficient evacuation of water in wet conditions, there are strict rules about the tyre specification: the land-sea ratio (proportion of grooves to tread blocks) has increased from 17% to 21.5%, thanks to the introduction of two longitudinal cuts that have to be a minimum of 12mm wide in total and 5.5mm deep. Quotes Paolo Andreucci, Pirelli driver: “We’re facing a slightly different situation than we would normally in Sanremo, because our focus is on developing a brand new car for Italian asphalt. To do that, it’s important – actually, essential – to have confidence in the tyres and the grip available. That was certainly the case for the last round when we gave the car its debut, but Sanremo will be an even bigger challenge because the roads are always slippery and there’s a high risk of rain. I’ve tested the RK tyre and it’s a very impressive product. Even though by the nature of the new regulations it has to be a compromise, it really doesn’t feel that way when you are driving it.” Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “The RK is a tyre designed to cover a wide range of conditions utilising a single tread pattern, much as we do with road car tyres, with technology content is also used on our road car tyres. It’s a great example of how our competition activities directly benefit our road car products.”


For more information about Pirelli, please contact Anthony Peacock on +44 7765 896 930 or anthony@mediaticaworld.com