|Ahlin has won in the British Rally Championship this year
Pirelli takes on one of the most challenging events in the World Rally Championship this weekend: Wales Rally GB.
The event is notorious for its difficult and changeable weather conditions. Rain and fog are common, making the stages muddy and slippery, but when dry, the same gravel roads can be very fast. With a slightly earlier date than usual, conditions may not be quite as severe this year, but tyres will still have to cope with a large spectrum of available grip.
Pirelli drivers will be equipped with the Scorpion KSB as the main choice, a soft compound tyre best suited to cooler, damp conditions. The Scorpion KHB hard compound will also be available for warmer conditions and more compacted surfaces.
Based in Deeside, the rally begins with a ceremonial start in Colwyn Bay on Thursday evening before the action starts on Friday with 178 kilometres and famous stage names like Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren, albeit run in the reverse direction. Saturday features just under 100 kilometres, ending with a first stage in England since 1999 at Cholmondeley Castle. The rally concludes with 52 kilometres of stages on Sunday. There will be no mid-day service on any of the three days, and no tyre change opportunities during either Saturday or Sunday’s action.
Leading Pirelli drivers
As at most rounds during 2016, Lorenzo Bertelli and Valeriy Gorban will represent Pirelli as World Rally Car privateers in their Ford Fiesta and Mini respectively. The WRC2 category will include two of Pirelli’s leading drivers in the revived British Rally Championship this year: Swede Fredrik Ahlin and Scotsman David Bogie. Ahlin will drive a Ford Fiesta R5 along with returning Polish driver Jaroslaw Koltun, while Bogie joins Peruvian regular Nicolas Fuchs in driving a Skoda Fabia R5. Frenchman Michel Fabre will look to keep up his WRC3 title challenge in his Citroen DS3 R3T.
The tyres and the rules
World Rally Car drivers will be permitted to use 20 tyres during the rally with four tyres per tyre change opportunity and four spares. Pirelli drivers will be able to choose from 24 of the 205/65-15 Scorpion KSB Reinforced soft compound and 16 of the 205/65-15 Scorpion KHB Reinforced hard compound. WRC2 drivers may use up to 22 tyres including on shakedown.
Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli rally activity manager:
“Rally GB is another of the classic events on the World Rally Championship calendar and it’s certainly a challenging one from a tyre perspective, mainly because of the weather. The tyres have to be able to perform in a wide range of conditions, including providing grip in thick and slippery mud but also on harder, faster surfaces if it is drier. As usual in Britain, anything is possible. On Saturday and Sunday, the crews will pick their tyres for an entire leg, so versatility and durability will be important qualities. With the rally being a month earlier this year, knowing whether to choose the soft or the hard compound will also be tricky.”
For further information please contact:
Anthony Peacock • +44 7765 896 930 • firstname.lastname@example.org