Pirelli to headline the 2007 Memorial Bettega Event
Bologna, December 2007 - The Memorial Bettega is one of the most eagerly-awaited encounters at the Bologna Motor Show. Having dominated the last two events, Pirelli wanted to get behind this year's competition to the maximum extent - so the Italian tyre firm will supply all the covers for this weekend's Memorial Bettega Rallysprint. Pirelli is also supplying tyres for many other competitions that will be held in Area 48 of the Motor Show, such as the WRC Italia Trophy, the Super 1600 Challenge, the Super 2000 Trophy, and also "title sponsor" of the Historic Challenges.
Looking further ahead, Pirelli will start its first season as the World Rally Championship's official tyre supplier in just over a month's time at the Monte Carlo Rally. Pirelli will equip all the four-wheel drive cars (meaning the WRC and Group N PWRC entries) as well as the Junior World Championship competitors in Super 1600 cars. Pirelli's tyre supply deal is a three-year agreement, meaning that the Italian rubber will be a feature of the WRC until at least 2010.
With next year's commitments looming large for Pirelli's technicians, led by the firm's Rally Manager Mario Isola, the Memorial Bettega will constitute a perfect warm-up event and conclude this season's celebrations of Pirelli's 100th anniversary in motorsport. The entries for the Memorial Bettega Rallysprint - all running on PZero tyres - include Subaru Impreza WRCs driven by Markko Martin and Francois Duval, Skoda Fabia WRCs driven by Dindo Capello (a multiple Le Mans winner) and Jan Kopecky, Alessandro Bettega's Ford Focus WRC04, Simone Campedelli's Peugeot 307 WRC and a Citroen Xsara WRC driven by Toni Gardemeister. The final competitor at the Memorial Bettega Rallysprint will be the winner of the WRC Italia Trophy. The potential candidates include some of the leading lights on the national scene, such as Tobia Cavallini and Paolo Ciuffi (Subaru Impreza), Michele Gregis and Alessandro Perico (Peugeot 206), Felice Re and Riccardo Errani (Skoda Fabia), Marco Silva (Peugeot 307) and Marco Fiorile (Ford Focus).
Paul Hembery, Pirelli's motorsport director, commented: "For Pirelli, the Memorial Bettega Rallysprint is not just one of many end of year celebrations. Instead, it's an important opportunity to promote both our competition and road car tyres. The Memorial Bettega takes on a particular importance this year as it is our final significant engagement before we begin our three-year term as exclusive tyre supplier to the World Rally Championship, underlining Pirelli's firm commitment to motorsport. From a sporting point of view, I'd like to extend a warm welcome to Alessandro Bettega - competing for the first time in a race that bears his legendary father's name - and to the talented Markko Martin, back behind the wheel of a WRC car where he belongs."