Pirelli heads to Germany with new Cinturato wet tyre as WRC moves onto asphalt
|The Pirelli Cinturato RW makes its debut
on Rallye Deutschland
A string of World Rally Championship events on asphalt begins this weekend with Rallye Deutschland, where Pirelli will bring a brand new full wet tyre: the Cinturato RW (in 235/40-18 size). The new Cinturato RW wet tyre, which is designed for heavy rain thanks to its unparalleled water-clearing ability, will be offered alongside the existing P Zero RK tyres. Since the 1950s, the Cinturato name has been synonymous with maximum safety and performance, and this is also the name for the wet-weather family of Formula 1 tyres. Whether or not the weather will mean that these tyres are used remains to be seen, but unpredictable conditions are a hallmark of Rallye Deutschland. Even in the dry the stages can be slippery, as dirt gets dragged onto the racing line with each passing car, but wet weather can make these surfaces especially treacherous. The German stages can generally be separated into three groups according to their location and characteristics; there are narrow and winding roads through Mosel vineyards, faster stages in the Eifel hills and Saarland countryside, and the broken tracks on the Baumholder military ranges.
|The Pirelli Cinturato RW makes its debut on
In Germany, the Pirelli charge will be led by the top two home drivers, both driving Skoda Fabia R5s in the WRC2 category and from different ends of the experience scale: Regular series frontrunner Armin Kremer won Rallye Deutschland in its European Championship days, while 23-year-old Fabian Kreim currently leads the national championship. Former production world champion Max Rendina also returns to competition, in a Skoda Fabia R5. The RK5A hard compound has been chosen for abrasive asphalt (such as that in the Baumholder military area) with the RK7B soft as the option for use on smooth and slippery asphalt (such as that in the vineyard stages). Based in the city of Trier, Rallye Deutschland features 306.8 competitive kilometres over 18 stages, beginning on Friday with four stages in the Mosel vineyards followed by the new Ollmuth superspecial. Saturday’s nine tests include two runs over the notorious 40.8-kilometre Panzerplatte Lang stage at Baumholder, before four more stages on Sunday. Leading Pirelli drivers Kremer and Kreim, both run by the team of 13-time Austrian champion Raimund Baumschlager, are joined on Pirelli tyres in the WRC2 category by Max Rendina, as the Italian swaps his Ford for a Skoda following a podium in Mexico. Young Italians Fabio Andolfi and Damiano De Tommaso continue their campaigns in WRC3, driving Peugeot 208 R2s with support from Pirelli and ACI, the Italian federation. The tyres and the rules In Germany, the WRC2 drivers can use 34 tyres, with four tyres per tyre change opportunity and six spares. They can choose from 34 of the 235/40-18 P Zero RK5A hard compound and 22 of the 235/40-18 P Zero RK7B soft compound. Eight of the new 235/40-18 Cinturato RW rain tyres are allowed per car. Quotes Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli rally activity manager: “After several months focussed on gravel, Rallye Deutschland is the first of four consecutive asphalt events in a short space of time, including the debut of Rally China next month. But making its debut for now is our new Cinturato RW tyre, which has been designed to make a difference in full wet conditions. With its variety of different stages and surface types, Germany also offers a thorough test of our RK asphalt tyres. The changeable weather is of course a key challenge, and our tyres must perform well in both dry and wet conditions. In Armin Kremer, who is highly experienced in this terrain, and Fabian Kreim, who is showing great promise so early in his career, we have the top two German drivers on the entry list and we are hopeful they can use local knowledge to score great results in the highly competitive WRC2 category. We’re also delighted to welcome back Max Rendina.”
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