The renowned Pirelli Scorpion gravel tyre heads to the Masurian region in Poland next week, for round seven of the World Rally Championship from June 26-29. The Italian tyre firm will supply four competitors on the all-gravel event, which returns to the WRC this year for the first time since 2009, when Mikko Hirvonen won on Pirelli tyres.
Pirelli is in the first season of its WRC return this year, with the focus on customer competition, particularly in the feeder WRC2 series. With six rounds gone, Pirelli drivers Yuriy Protasov and Lorenzo Bertelli are first and second in the championship. However, as drivers only count a maximum of seven scores, neither Protasov nor Bertelli are competing. Pirelli also leads the WRC2 Production Championship courtesy of Max Rendina, who will be present in Poland.
Pirelli drivers in Poland
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The Pirelli drivers contesting Rally Poland are:
33 Max Rendina/Mario Pizzuti (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10)
38 Bernardo Sousa/Hugo Magalhaes (Ford Fiesta RRC)
40 Jordan Serderidis/Frederic Miclotte (Ford Fiesta R5)
88 Dainius Matijosaitis/Mindaugas Cepulis (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10)
The tyres available
Pirelli will supply its soft compound Scorpion XR7 tyres for cool and damp conditions, plus the option Scorpion XR5, which comes in a harder compound for warmer temperatures and tougher roads.
The XR pattern’s internal structure means that the tyre is resistant to rocks and other impacts, while the sidewall is also reinforced to protect against punctures, a constant menace when the demanding Polish stages are run for a second time. The new XR is a symmetrical (non-directional) tyre, which makes each tyre interchangeable on either side of the car: a key advantage when it comes to strategy.
One prime compound is nominated per gravel event (the soft compound in Poland) with limited quantities of a harder option compound also available in case of unexpected warmer weather.
WRC2 drivers have an allocation of 28 tyres in total, with 16 sets of the option tyre.
The soft compound XR7 is the prime nomination, with the harder XR5 available as the option.
Matteo Braga, Pirelli senior engineer: “This year, Rally Poland is essentially two rallies in one: we have part of the event in Lithuania, where the character of the roads is a little bit different to how it is in Poland. But we’re confident in the performance of our tyres in all types of conditions, as our strong performance in the WRC2 championship so far this year has shown. The XR Scorpion tyre is completely new this year, designed very much to combine durability with speed. The structure has been reinforced, which will allow our latest tyre to combat the sharp rocks that are a common characteristic of this event, while the squarer profile improves road holding and grip, even at high speeds.”
For more information about Pirelli, please contact Anthony Peacock on +44 7765 896 930 or firstname.lastname@example.org