Pirelli tyres aiming for victory


The last 2006 race in the middle of the Emirate desert will be extremely demanding.
Heat, sand and little adherence the biggest dangers for Pirelli's P Zero Racing tyres.

Milan, 11 November 2006 - The last 2006 race of the FIA-GT Championship will take place next weekend on a track on the furthest outskirts of Dubai in the Arab Emirates. It is a circuit that the leading contenders in the international series know well, having already competed there in 2004 and 2005. At Dubai, with the Drivers', Constructors' and Team titles already won, it only remains to see which drivers merit the somewhat thankless role of runner-up in both the GT1 class, where a number of competitors are in contention including Babini, Davies and Biagi, who compete on Pirelli P Zero Racings, as well as in the lower class, where only drivers racing the Ferrari 430 GTCs are in with a chance.

Fabio Babini, the Pirelli Competizioni test driver who competes in an Aston Martin Racing-BMS' DBR9, hopes to score another important result - and, possibly, take second place in the GT1 Drivers' championship table. He explains, "Dubai is a modern and very interesting track from the driving point of view, with two fairly long straights and fast combination sections that come together at very slow points, all of which demands a highly equilibrated set-up for the car. The very smooth asphalt is more or less always covered with a layer of fine sand, which is only partially cleaned off the trajectories after numerous competitors have gone through, and that is the reason why leaving the ideal line - even out of a necessity when overtaking - could be very risky. After the marked progress shown at Adria and Budapest by the P Zero Racings and our DBR9, I am sure I can aim for the podium".

From his standpoint, Circuit Manager of Pirelli Competizioni Pierluigi De Cancellis emphasises that Dubai is one of the most difficult tracks in the entire FIA-GT Championship. "In fact, the weather conditions - with the asphalt at more or less a constant 40°C - and the smooth tarmac covered with a thin veil of sand are treacherous for the tyres", engineer De Cancellis explains. "Especially if, on the one hand, the sand makes an already slippery surface even worse; on the other hand, the same sand severely abrades the tyres by virtue of the graining that is always generated at Dubai, but not there alone. We will take to the Emirates track a new medium-hard compound for the rear wheels of the Porsche 996 GT3-RSR, while the other cars will use Pirelli P Zero Racings with medium tread mixes. As far as the cars on Pirelli are concerned, I should mention that Luca Riccitelli will be replaced by Mike Rockenfeller, a Zuffenhausen factory driver, in the lead Porsche-Ebimotors, Matteo Malucelli will be paired with Fabio Babini in the Aston Martin Racing-BMS DBR9 and Toni Vilander will compete with Jaime Melo in the Ferrari 430 GTC of Team AFCorse. In this last race of the 2006 FIA-GT Championship I expect an outstanding finale".

For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit: www.pirellicompetizioni.com

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