|Robert Kubica will be back in action with the latest Fiesta
For Pirelli, the Rally d’Italia-Sardinia assumes a special significance as the Italian firm’s home event, where expectations are high following strong results so far this year.
Although Pirelli is focussing only on customer competition this season, privateers have been able to set a number of fastest stage times (as shown by Robert Kubica) as well as score some significant points finishes, such as Martin Prokop’s fourth overall in Argentina.
Pirelli has also shown winning pace in WRC2, which is the company’s main focus in the second season of its World Rally Championship return. Recent victories in this important feeder category have included Argentina (with Abdulaziz Al Kuwari) and Portugal (with Nasser Al-Attiyah).
Kubica said: “In Portugal I was able to get back into a competitive rhythm after missing Argentina, and I was also able to get to know the new Fiesta, adapting it to my driving style and also to the Pirelli tyres. Now we come to the Rally d’Italia. Italy is my second home, so I hope to put all the work we have done to good use.”
The gravel stages of Sardinia are not as quick as those in Portugal, but they still have a number of points in common. The route is extremely demanding both on cars and tyres, which is why the hard compound Pirelli Scorpion KH Reinforced has been selected as the main tyre, with the soft compound Pirelli Scorpion KS Reinforced as the option.
These tyres will face a total of 23 special stages over nearly 400 competitive kilometres.
The rally will get underway on Thursday 11 June with a start ceremony and city centre superspecial in Cagliari. The finish takes place at 13:30 on Sunday 14 June at Alghero, following the Cala Flumini Power Stage.
Leading Pirelli drivers in Italy:
Pirelli’s lead drivers will be Robert Kubica, Martin Prokop and Lorenzo Bertelli, all in the latest generation 2015-specification Ford Fiesta RS WRC. Bertelli will be rejoined by Lorenzo Granai in the co-driver’s seat after an absence of nearly a year. The highlights of the WRC2 entry equipped by Pirelli include the Citroen DS3 R5 of Karl Kruuda, the Peugeot 208 T16 of multiple Italian Rally Champion Paolo Andreucci, and the Ford Fiesta RRC of Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari.
|Paolo Andreucci will star for Pirelli in WRC2
14 Robert Kubica/Maciej Szczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
21 Martin Prokop/Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
37 Lorenzo Bertelli/Lorenzo Granai (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
31 Yazeed Al RajhiMichael Orr (Ford Fiesta RS RRC)
33 Max Rendina/Mario Pizzuti (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X)
36 Karl Kruuda/Martin Jarveoja (Citroen DS3 R5)
39 Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari/Marshall Clarke (Ford Fiesta RS RRC)
40 Valeriy Gorban/Volodymyr Korsia (MINI JCW RRC)
44 Armin Kremer/Pirmin Winklhofer (Skoda Fabia R5)
47 Julien Maurin/Nicolas Klinger (Ford Fiesta RRC)
48 Paolo Andreucci/Anna Andreussi (Peugeot 208 T16)
52 Simone Tempestini/Matteo Chiarcossi (Subaru Impreza WRX)
79 Gianluca Linari/Nicola Arena (Subaru Impreza WRX)
85 Harry Hunt/David Moynihan (Skoda Fabia S2000)
71 Fabio Andolfi/Simone Scattolin (Peugeot 208 R2)
72 Giuseppe Testa/Emanuele Inglesi (Peugeot 208 R2)
96 Andrea Dalmazzini/Alessandro Franco (Peugeot 208 R2)
The tyres available and the rules:
The WRC1 drivers are allowed 32 tyres under the latest regulations (30 for WRC2) of the main compound KH Reinforced and 16 of the option KS Reinforced. The K pattern is well known for its versatility, which gives it excellent performance even in the typically warm conditions of Sardinia. The two-wheel drive cars will use the K4 hard compound and the K6 soft compound.
Matteo Braga, Pirelli senior tyre engineer: “Our home rally is always a special one, and we are approaching it with a great deal of confidence, given the increasing number of drivers who have chosen the technology contained within our products. The heat of Sardinia and the harshness of the surface will provide an additional challenge in what is always a very long and demanding rally. In particular, the second leg on Saturday will be difficult, where teams and drivers will have to think carefully about how to use their tyres over 212 kilometres of stages, including the two longest stages of the rally: Coiluna-Loelle at nearly 37 kilometres and Monte Lerno, at more than 42 kilometres. Because of this we have chosen the KH tyres, which guarantee stability and performance even in high ambient temperatures of over 30 degrees and the most demanding conditions, with the KS as an alternative for shorter stages and less demanding surfaces.”
For further information please contact:
Anthony Peacock • +44 7765 896 930 • firstname.lastname@example.org