PIRELLI IN OTHER FOUR-WHEELED COMPETITIONS: 224 CHAMPIONSHIPS AND MORE THAN 1000 PEOPLE INVOLVED
PIRELLI IN OTHER FOUR-WHEELED COMPETITIONS:
224 CHAMPIONSHIPS AND MORE THAN 1000 PEOPLE INVOLVED
Pirelli is involved in 224 car championships over all five continents. These diverse programmes range from open competition – with up to 20 manufacturers represented – to important single-make trophies featuring the world’s top marques such as the Ferrari Challenge and Lamborghini Super Trofeo.
All these events combined make a total of around 1170 races per year worldwide. Working on this campaign are about 1000 people from Pirelli’s motorsport departments all over the world, in areas that range from research and development to trackside engineering.
To give an idea of the scale of Pirelli’s motorsport commitment, the biggest single event for Pirelli in all its campaigns is the Spa 24 Hours in Belgium: the jewel in the crown of the Blancpain GT Series. The company supplies more than 10,000 tyres over the 24 hours to 65 competitors, and it’s capable of fitting a tyre every two and half minutes thanks to a dedicated team of 100 people that fits all the tyres on site in the paddock.
The main GT championships that Pirelli is involved in are those promoted by SRO: chief of which is the Blancpain GT Series. This uses GT3 cars in the top class: similar to the supercars seen on the road, for which Pirelli also supplies original equipment. As well as a varied calendar of sprint and endurance events all over Europe, the Blancpain series has recently established an Asian championship, and it also promotes a variety of national GT championships. Pirelli additionally equips the new SRO-promoted GT4 European Series, using cars closer to showroom-specification.
The manufacturers represented in GT racing include some of the world’s top marques, such as Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Porsche. With both performance and durability key to success in GT racing, demonstrated by Pirelli’s previous wins in epic endurance races such as the Nurburgring 24 Hours, Gulf 12 Hours and Bathurst 12 Hours, these competitions are a perfect fit for the Italian tyre manufacturer.
Pirelli also supplies the British GT and the Italian GT, together with the FIA GT World Cup in Macau as well as ADAC GT Masters in Germany. In America, the Pirelli World Challenge brings together all the world’s premium and prestige manufacturers.
The Ferrari Challenge and Lamborghini Super Trofeo, exclusively equipped by Pirelli, host championships on three different continents (America, Europe and Asia) bringing truly global visibility to all the brands involved.
The product supplied by Pirelli for GT racing is the P Zero slick. This is mostly used as a hard compound and is extremely versatile despite the diverse requirements of all the different circuits, race distances, manufacturers and vehicle architectures involved. For wet conditions, there is also a grooved tyre with a tread specifically designed to evacuate water in the most efficient way possible.
Some of the world’s top driving stars have used Pirelli’s GT racing with plenty of success, including Alex Zanardi, who has competed in the Blancpain GT series with Pirelli. Other top stars include Bruno Senna, the nephew of the great Ayrton, GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi and former Le Mans winner Stephane Ortelli.
Pirelli also supplies stock car series, the biggest of which is Stock Car Brasil, which features several former F1 drivers including Rubens Barrichello. The championship has a huge following throughout South America, making it a key motorsport activity for Pirelli.