Pirelli returns to the WRC with a renewed tire range
Pirelli launched four new rally tyres at the Autosport International in Birmingham, the first exhibition a hundred per cent dedicated to motorsport. The Italian company completely renewed its tire range, combining versatility and expertise not only for its return to the WRC but also for all other major competitions where the brand is present. In line with the requirements of sporting regulations, the new tires have a unique tread design for both asphalt and gravel, getting closer and closer to the road tires. The RK tire in size 235/40 R18 is expected to be the most used and is available for all the top cars from the new R5 class upwards. This product is designed for asphalt surfaces, it is provided with two longitudinal grooves – in accordance with regulations – which allow the use both in dry and wet conditions. The two longitudinal channels are positioned in the inner part of the tire to ensure a better water drainage effect, thus avoiding aquaplaning and at the same time allowing better performance in cornering when the car is resting on the outer part of the tire, less grooved, thus maximizing grip. For the WRC, the tire will be available in two compounds: hard for dry conditions and soft for wet or low-grip circumstances. SOTTOZERO™ completes the asphalt range in the 235/40 R18 size. This tire comes in two versions: studded, for snow and ice, and without studs – like a normal road car tire. For gravel rallies, Pirelli has developed the SCORPION™ XR, in 205/65-15 size. Designed for extremely severe gravel rallies, the symmetrical tread pattern enhances durability and high resistance to punctures. The Scorpion XR is available in two compounds: hard for the most severe and abrasive conditions, such as those experienced in Portugal, Mexico and Italy, soft to soft terrains like Finland or for colder conditions where mud can be found as in the Rally of England. The SOTTOZERO™ Ice in size 205/65-15 completes the Pirelli Range. This studded tire is designed exclusively for the Rally Sweden ice and snow conditions. The 380 studs ensure high grip. Thanks to the exclusive technology patented by Pirelli, the compound is studied to prevent the loss of studs during the race.