RALLY JAPAN UNDER THE BANNER OF WET TYRES
Rain and snow kept at bay by Pirelli Cinturato tyres
Little use was made of the P Zero Hard, which were the prime for the rally
Testoni: "The wet tyres, like the others in our range, also showed great versatility and reliability. It closes a very positive season for us, but head to the future: we are already working for Monte Carlo."
The World Rally Championship closes in Japan with a Toyota triple with Elfyn Evans, Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera on the podium in one of the most surprisingly challenging races of the season. In this rally, characterized by extreme weather conditions well beyond all predictions that complicated the search for grip on the slippery roads around Toyota City, the versatility and reliability of Pirelli tyres once again proved their crucial importance for the proper management of the race.
The consequence of the severe weather situation, characterized by heavy rainfall and low temperatures, was the disruption of plans and strategies, with the choice of tyres reduced to soft and wet. Although the rally was, in fact, supposed to be dominated by the P Zero Hard, indicated as prime, the rain, snow and cold brought the P Zero Soft and especially the Cinturato Wet to the center of attention. The wet Pirelli tyre proved decisive not only with the all-day rain on Friday, followed by an overnight frost, but also with the snow that fell in the following days. While in the former case the Cinturato's tread pattern sipes were decisive in expelling the large amounts of water on the road surface, in the latter it was the compounds that had to prove responsiveness and adaptability even in conditions far beyond those for which they were designed.
Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli Activity Manager: "It was a very difficult rally, but I don't remember any easy rally this season, which in general has been very positive for us. In all the races there were unforeseen events, often related to the weather situation, to deal with which our tyres always offered the solution. The Cinturato Wet remained the only ones in our range to be put to the test in extreme conditions. I would say they passed the test brilliantly, taking on some of the work that snow tyres do in Monte Carlo and proving to have the same reliability as our entire range of WRC tyres. Over the course of the season we have accumulated data and experience that will come in very handy for future developments that we are already working on. For the Monte Carlo Rally we have already scheduled tests that will take place in the coming weeks."
In WRC2 Andreas Mikkelsen won ahead of Nikolay Gryazin and Kajetan Kajetanowicz, all on the Skoda Fabia RS Rally2.
Below is a graphic summary of the Rally Japan