Pirelli drivers aim to star on home turf

Martin Prokop will be among the Pirelli crews

For Pirelli, the Rally Italia Sardegna represents the company’s home event, where some of the leading privateer drivers on round seven of the World Rally Championship will once again aim to show strongly against the factory teams. They will be relying on the latest evolution of the famous Scorpion K tyres in order to combat one of the most demanding rallies on the entire calendar. Sardinia is characterised by fine and sandy gravel that frequently gives way to sharp rocks, which many drivers have fallen victim to in the past. Not only that but there are some big jumps and long stages, meaning that every aspect of tyre performance and durability is tested. There is also a possibility of high temperatures, adding to the challenge of the abrasive surfaces. The Scorpion K tyres are characterised by precise steering inputs, with good control braking and traction: even on fast stages with low levels of grip. A lot of this is down to Pirelli’s unique directional tread pattern, which drives the car through the corner. Some of the latest evolutions have concentrated on reinforcing the structure of the tyre, ensuring that the strength matches the performance that makes Pirelli the world leader when it comes to ultra high performance products. In order to celebrate Pirelli’s home event, the Italian firm has laid on special facilities at the Tula stage (SS3 and SS7 on Friday), allowing fans to get a spectacular view of the action and highlight Pirelli’s involvement in the World Rally Championship, which began in the first year of the series itself, 1973. The rally is based in Alghero and consists of 19 stages covering 324 competitive kilometres. The longest stage is Monte Lerno, at 44 kilometres, while the final day has no service halt at all before the final power stage in Sassari. Leading Pirelli drivers In total, Pirelli will have six leading privateers in the top WRC1 class, and seven top contenders in the WRC2 class. In addition, there are the usual two WRC3 contenders, up and coming youngsters Fabio Andolfi and Damiano de Tommaso, backed jointly by Pirelli and ACI: the Italian motorsport federation. As well as WRC regulars Martin Prokop, Lorenzo Bertelli and Valeriy Gorban, Switzerland’s Federico della Casa, Estonia’s Mait Maarend, and Italy’s Roberto Tononi all step up to Pirelli-equipped World Rally Cars. In WRC2, former European Rally Champion Armin Kremer takes on Nicholas Fuchs, each driving a Skoda Fabia R5. The tyres and the rules World Rally Car drivers are allowed to use 32 tyres during the rally (30 for WRC2), with four tyres per tyre change opportunity and four spares. In Italy, they can choose from 32 of the 205/65-15 Scorpion KHB Reinforced hard compound and 16 of the 205/65-15 Scorpion KSB Reinforced soft compound for cooler or sandier stages. Quotes Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli rally activity manager: “Sardinia is always a special occasion for us and we’re looking forward to the Tula stage on Friday in particular, where we will have a big presence. However, we’re certainly not underestimating the challenge ahead this weekend. In terms of temperature and surface, Sardinia is one of the toughest rallies of the year: maybe the toughest of all. In the past though, our privateers have shown that they are able to score points in the midst of factory teams, and this will be our aim once more. We also have high hopes for our two Junior drivers, as we are very proud to support the next generation of future stars – on whom the future of the sport depends – as part of our company philosophy.”


For further information please contact: Anthony Peacock • +44 7765 896 930 • anthony@mediaticaworld.com