Pirelli P Zero tyres take Ferrari 488 to debut Bathurst 12 Hour victory

Ferrari took victory,
chased by the Mercedes until a late crash

Pirelli’s DMC compound tyres were an essential ingredient of the intense fight for victory that was sealed by a late-race twist at the Bathurst 12 Hours in Australia, which was being exclusively supplied by Pirelli for the first time. Showing great versatility in a field of extremely diverse cars, the Italian tyres formed a key element of the race strategy: which is what ultimately would decide the outcome. The Ferrari 488 of Toni Vilander, Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes eventually sealed the win from pole, but after the final round of pit stops it emerged in second place behind the Mercedes of Maro Engel, Shane van Gisbergen and Craig Baird. Whincup, completing his first race for Ferrari, hunted down the Mercedes and passed it in the closing stages, but the battle was only finally decided when van Gisbergen dramatically hit the wall. In total, there were 16 safety cars, seven race leaders, and 23 changes of lead during the 12 hours, with the winning car completed 290 laps or 1978 kilometres of Mount Panorama. Whincup said: “The final pit stop was strategic. We had to make a call as to whether we wanted to put tyres on and lose track position or whether we wanted to keep track position on older tyres. So, I made a call at the end to put some new tyres on and it was the right call. The car had great pace.”

The top three crews on the podium

The number 88 Ferrari started on pole as a result of the top-10 shoot-out after qualifying, introduced this year and backed by Pirelli, in order to decide the sharp end of the grid. The fastest qualifier, Vilander, was presented with the Allan Simonsen Pole Trophy. The competitors used mainly Pirelli’s P Zero DMC medium compound, which proved particularly well suited to the varied demands of Bathurst, incorporating a twisty mountain section as well as fast straights. However, some teams chose to use the hard compound as well. Despite the significant differences between all the cars, each one proved capable of performing double stints on Pirelli rubber: even on the medium compound. The tyres performed exactly in line with expectations, allowing the winning Ferrari to complete the race at an average speed of just over 150kph during 12 hours, with seven different car brands in the final top 10. Pirelli circuit activities manager Matteo Braga commented: “As usual, Bathurst delivered an exciting and action-packed race that wasn’t decided until the very end. The tyres and the race strategy contributed to keeping that fight alive, with Jamie Whincup’s decision to make a final pit stop for fresh tyres proving crucial. Track temperatures were up to 15 degrees centigrade warmer than last year, with peak ambient temperatures of 36 degrees, but despite this performance was not compromised and the medium compound in particular performed extremely well. Even the teams that had not run on Pirelli tyres before were able to adapt themselves very quickly to our products, thanks also to our in-depth knowledge of each car from the Blancpain GT Series.”


For further information please contact: Anthony Peacock • +44 7765 896 930 • anthony@mediaticaworld.com