Pirelli's new studded tyre gives Galli's Mitsubishi wings

Hagfors, 3 February 2006 - Only the worst of bad luck prevented the new Pirelli studded tyre entered for the Swedish Rally by Pirelli Competizioni from battling for the lead at the end of the first leg of the event. The new Pirelli P Zero, with its exclusive studding solution plus technology that "anchors" the studs in the tyre so that they do not have to be hammered in, made the difference in relation to the offerings of other brands. It was the failure of a drive shaft and a transmission problem that immediately did for Petter Solberg's Subaru Impreza WRC, while an off-road excursion and consequent damage to the steering penalised the second works Subaru, driven by Chris Atkinson. But the Mitsubishi Lancers of Gigi Galli and Daniel Carlsson kept Pirelli's colours flying high. The two were extremely fast on the compacted ice on the special stages of the first leg and always close to the leaders. The Italian also won a stage, while Carlsson set a number of excellent times throughout of the initial leg, enabling Mitsubishi to get both of their Lancers in the top four places of the provisional overall results. Gigi Galli, who is third overall, was satisfied with his P Zeros at the end of the first day. He said, "The Pirellis performed well and were robust at every critical juncture and on all types of surface. It was not easy as I was unable to attack in the way that the new studding system would have enabled me, a system that showed itself to be decidedly effective". Mario Isola, Rally Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, confirmed Galli's observations. He said, "The new studding system worked perfectly and the technological means of vulcanising the studs into the tyre meant the crews competing on Pirelli no longer complained of the many lost or broken studs experienced by a number of the top drivers on our competitors' tyres. Praise should go to the extraordinary performance of the 2005 Mitsubishi of Galli and Carlsson, who were always effective and fast, but without excessively forcing either the mechanics or the tyres". Swedish first leg classification, WRC 2006 Event nr. 02: 1. Gronholm (Ford) 1h12'29''8 2. Loeb (Citron) + 10''2 3. Galli (Mitsubishi) +57''5 4. Carlsson (Mitsubishi) +1'03''0 5. Ekstrm (Skoda) + 1'22''4 For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit:  www.pirellicompetizioni.com