Pirelli Competizioni aims for a hat-trick at the FIA-GT's "24 hours of SPA"


After two consecutive wins with the PZero Racing-equipped Maserati MC12 in 2005 and 2006, Pirelli is once more ready to face the Belgian endurance classic this year. All the teams running on the Italian rubber will be able to benefit from some interesting new developments.

Milano, 25 July 2007- Having triumphed for the last two years with the Maserati MC12, Pirelli is well-prepared for the 2007 Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours next weekend, the highlight of the FIA-GT Championship. The Pirelli teams will have between three and four different compounds of tyre at their disposal over the weekend (including medium-hard for hot weather as well as soft for night and lower temperatures). In addition will be two tyres for heavy and light rain.

The race is due to get underway on Saturday 28 July at 1600. Pierluigi de Cancellis, Pirelli Competizioni's circuit manager, commented: "We have got a number of developments in place for the top Pirelli teams on our PZero Racing tyres. Based on some recent test sessions and all the experience we have taken away from Spa in the past - including two wins and a second place in the last three years - we have come up with some new products that are specifically tailored to an event as demanding as this one. For example, we have expanded the range of compounds available for the Ferrari's new front tyre size (295/645-18) introduced at Oschersleben. For Porsche, we have a new medium-hard compound rear tyre and for Maserati a totally new medium tyre, which is suitable for front and back. As for Aston Martin, they will have the chance to use a new construction of front tyre, which has so far only been tried out in testing. We also have tailor-made PZero Racing covers for the Gilet Vertigo, which will introduce a brand new chassis at Spa. They are newcomers to Pirelli, along with the Easyrace Ferrari 430 GTC and the JW Automotive Porsche 997 GT3-RSR - who also join our regular customers."

Jamie Davies, a leading light of the Pirelli-equipped Aston Martin Racing-BMS team, explained a bit about the specific demands of the recently-modified circuit that he will be racing his DBR9 on this weekend, in the heart of the Ardennes. "It's a really tough track for several reasons," he said.
"Notoriously mixed weather is typical of Spa: the circuit is more than seven kilometres long so it can often be pouring down with rain at one end with bright sunshine at the other. Then there's the sheer length and variety of the circuit, which becomes a real challenge when you are running on it for 24 hours non-stop, especially as there are fast sections mixed in with slower curves and chicances. This makes it very hard to identify the ideal set-up. Finally, there have been some big modifications to the circuit this year, which will definitely influence qualifying and the race. But with the lastest developments on the tyres and the car, we can certainly aim for the top result that has eluded me for the last two years at Spa when I was driving a Maserati."

As well as the FIA GT Championship round, the Ferrari Challenge will also take place at the Spa 24 Hours this weekend. On Friday and Saturday several Ferrari 430s, running on PZero Racing tyres, will take to the same legendary track that is used for the main event.

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