Pirelli on WRC2 podium at Rally Australia

Nicolas Fuchs

Italian tyre firm Pirelli has finished on the podium of the WRC2 classification on Rally Australia, having been at the front of the action thanks to Peruvian privateer Nicolas Fuchs. Fuchs was beaten over the 23 demanding gravel stages only by the factory Skoda of Esapekka Lappi, who went on to be crowned this year’s WRC2 champion. Pirelli also finished runner-up in the overall WRC3 standings at the end of the year, thanks to veteran Frenchman Michel Fabre. Despite being a grandfather, the Frenchman was able to challenge the up-and-coming young talents who star in the two-wheel drive category, with the help of his Italian tyres. In the headlining WRC1 category, Pirelli’s Lorenzo Bertelli finished in the top 10, having had his confidence boosted by his Scorpion tyres from start to finish. Had it not been for a differential problem that reduced his Ford Fiesta RS WRC to front-wheel drive only, he could have been even higher up the order to challenge the factory cars. “For me this was a very good rally,” said Bertelli. “We had a very good feeling from the beginning and the tyres worked perfectly. It’s a pity that we had our mechanical problem but for me the priority was to finish and we were able to do that.” Pirelli brought the Scorpion K Reinforced tyres to Australia, in both hard and soft compounds. In the mixed conditions, with loose gravel from start to finish, the drivers used both compounds. They performed perfectly and proved to be 100% reliable, giving the Pirelli drivers the possibility to perform at their very best. In particular, the K has a unique tread pattern that enables it to very quickly and effectively evacuate dirt and loose stones. Rally Australia was also a scoring round of the Australian Rally Championship, and history was made when Molly Taylor became Australia’s first female rally champion. Taylor’s career was launched when she was selected as part of the Pirelli Star Driver scheme in 2011, as the youngest driver on the programme. Pirelli’s rally activity manager Terenzio Testoni commented: “Rally Australia was as usual a complicated event, where nonetheless Pirelli’s privateer drivers were able to fulfil their maximum potential. The Scorpion tyre proved especially effective and puncture-proof in these challenging conditions: both Lorenzo Bertelli and Nicolas Fuchs were only beaten by factory drivers. Despite higher temperatures compared to previous years, our drivers were still able to make the most of the soft tyre during the morning loop of stages on each day.”


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