Pirelli heads to Macau to crown an amazing 2017 GT season
Having raced all over the world this year in different GT championships, Pirelli heads to the breath-taking Macau street circuit this weekend for the FIA GT World Cup. Pirelli has supplied the FIA GT World Cup since the inaugural event in 2015.
The Macau race meeting, established in 1954, is one of the most spectacular venues on the international motorsport calendar, cutting through the middle of the city before twisting through the hills that overlook the harbour.
This year there are some important changes to enhance the prestige status of this unique event, with new rules that admit only manufacturer-supported cars and professional drivers (gold and platinum standard). Macau is also the final destination of the year in a high-speed tour that has put Pirelli at the forefront of the international GT racing scene.
While the Blancpain GT Series may be over for this year, the most successful drivers are eligible for the FIA GT World Cup in Macau. There are 20 cars and seven manufacturers this year, with eight former winners on the grid. It’s the most prestigious GT driver line-up ever seen at Macau, with top stars such as Edoardo Mortara, Laurens Vanthoor, Lucas di Grassi, Maro Engel and Augusto Farfus: all factory drivers.
Here are some of the highlights and numbers from the 2017 season so far…
A new tyre for 2017 At the start of 2017 Pirelli introduced a brand-new tyre for GT championships all over the world: the P Zero DHD. The P Zero DHD was designed to work with all the manufacturers on the grid to deliver performance and consistency in a wide variety of conditions. This is also the tyre that Pirelli successfully proposed to the FIA for use in Macau.
Expanding in Asia Pirelli’s Asian presence in the GT world grew significantly, thanks to agreements with the Blancpain GT Series Asia, China GT Championship and the Suzuka 10 Hours, as well as accompanying series such as the Audi R8 LMS Cup, Lamborghini Super Trofeo and Ferrari Challenge. This underlines the importance of the region to Pirelli in global motorsport, with Macau as the jewel in the crown.
And some more numbers…. With 20 cars each permitted up to five sets of slicks and three sets of rain tyres, up to 640 tyres will be supplied for the event. In contrast to most GT races, there are no tyre changes or driver changes planned.
The P Zero DHD has been deployed in a number of different race formats in the Blancpain GT Series, from the one-hour Sprint Cup races to the Endurance Cup races lasting three hours, as well as the Spa 24 Hours. In Macau, the same product has to adapt to different types of tarmac with differing grip levels. Also, as the track is opened to the public during the night, the surface is always slippery, making it extra important to be able to generate grip with tyres and setup.
As well as Formula 1, Pirelli supplies around 350 other motorsport championships worldwide on both two and four wheels, taking in more than 2000 races per year.
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