RALLY OF MEXICO, THE HARD GRAVEL TYRES THE PRIME CHOICE FOR SIERRA SURFACES
Altitude, heat and sandy ground the biggest challenges of the American race
Tyres under stress for the environmental conditions, that are also extreme for the cars
Testoni: "The debut on gravel could not be more challenging than this. Tyre management is fundamental".
After a two-year break, the Rally Mexico returns to the WRC calendar with its often torrid temperatures, some of the most abrasive gravel roads of the season and its mountain tracks, as stressful for the cars and drivers as they are for the tyres. Often described as 'brutal' because of the harsh conditions it presents, the Guanajuato Rally is characterised by two elements, both of which have a high impact on the tyres:
- the highest altitudes of the entire championship (up to 2700 metres above sea level), with consequences on the aerodynamic load of the cars, which lose up to 20% engine power due to the lower atmospheric pressure;
- the sandy and stony terrain of the Sierra de Lobos and Sierra de Guanajuato roads, on which most of the 23 special stages, amounting to 320.71 competitive kilometres, take place.
PIRELLI TYRES IN MEXICO
The tyres available are:
Scorpion KX WRC: the Pirelli gravel tyre developed for the top category is available for the Rally1 cars in two compounds, both in evolution 2022, which features reinforced structures and an optimised design. For Mexico, the HA hard compound version, which offers greater durability and greater resistance to the most abrasive and higher grip surfaces, is the prime. The SA soft compound version, which guarantees optimum grip even on slippery surfaces, is the option.
The regulations provide for an allocation of 24 and 8 tyres respectively for prime and option, to which four are to be added for the shakedown, in the compound chosen by the crew.
Scorpion K: The gravel tyres for WRC2 and WRC3 are also available in hard and soft compounds, with many of the same characteristics as the KXs for the Rally1 cars. In Mexico, Rally2 cars have K4B (hard) and K6B (soft) tyres, while Rally3 cars have K4 (hard) and K6 (soft).
For these car categories, the allocations are 22 and 8 tyres for the prime and option respectively, to which must be added a set for the shakedown.
Terenzio Testoni, rally activity manager: "We are happy to be back in Mexico, because of the beauty of the race and because the Guanajato Rally is a bit like home to us, given the presence of one of our most modern and technologically advanced factories, just 30 minutes from the service park. From a technical point of view, the gravel debut of the 2023 Championship could not be more challenging than this: the rough roads of this rally require careful tyre management throughout the race. Although we expect high wear, the hard compound Scorpions will do their part to ensure reliability for the drivers and to compensate for the lower load of the cars.".