Pirelli's eagerly-awaited ?Scorpion' for gravel make their debut in Mexico

The new Pirelli Scorpion tyres will make their first appearance on the opening gravel event of this year's World Rally Championship. The harsh Mexican stages, which run at altitudes in excess of 2000 metres, will be a baptism of fire for Pirelli's new WRC gravel rubber. These brand new tyres incorporate technologies born out of Pirelli's experience with run-flat covers, and strongly reinforced sidewalls.

Milan, 24 February 2008 - The high altitude gravel roads that characterize the Rally Mexico (which runs from 27 February to 2 March) will form the backdrop to the debut of Pirelli's Scorpion tyres, specifically designed for the rigours of the WRC. The event, which takes place on roads around Leon (about one hour's flight from Mexico City), will make an excellent test bed for the specialised rubber that Pirelli has painstakingly developed for gravel events. As gravel is the most common surface on this year's championship, the importance of this all-new tyre cannot be underestimated.

Faced with rules that prohibited anti-deflation mousse this year, Pirelli 's engineers had to draw upon their experience with run-flat covers when designing the new gravel tyre for the WRC. The company was also able to use the information gained from notoriously rough events in national rally championships such as Greece and Turkey.

Amongst the essential features of the new Pirelli Scorpion tyre are considerably reinforced sidewalls to resist cuts and punctures, deeper tread blocks to improve the tyre's durability and a new tread block pattern in order to help the car react more progressively whilst cornering.
Mario Isola, Pirelli's Rally Manager, commented: "In Mexico, like many of the gravel events this year, all the four-wheel drive cars will use a hard compound of rubber that has been extensively tested over the course of last season. Mexico will be the first time though that the Scorpion tyre will have to deal with rocky terrain, on long stages that can become particularly difficult during the second run. In order to counteract punctures and tyre wear - the two principal enemies of all rubber in these conditions - we have come armed with a product that encapsulates all our collected know-how of run-flat technology, specially adapted for these extreme conditions. Along with our ecologically-friendly compounds, these new tyres should guarantee consistent performance over many kilometres of running. "