RALLY OF SWEDEN, FORD TAKES FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP VICTORY THANKS TO CAREFUL TYRE MANAGEMENT
Only tyres available were Pirelli Sottozero Ice J1Bs with 20mm studs
Saturday, as predicted, was the key day for the race result
Testoni: ‘Collaboration with the teams is crucial in order to find the right solutions together’
Tänak wins a Rally of Sweden run at the limit of the possibilities and with conditions that, as had been predicted, in the second passages of Saturday afternoon were extreme and not in line with a properly winter race, in which the correct management of the only type of tyre available was decisive.
In the other sections of the race, Rally of Sweden proceeded without any particular jolts, offering great spectacle and high speeds on the icy sections. Given the possibility of using only studded tyres, the teams' only possible strategy was to concentrate on the spares to be brought into the race (5 or 6) and on varying the pressures, in search of maximum performance, which does not always coincide with optimum performance.
TERENZIO TESTONI, PIRELLI RALLY ACTIVITY MANAGER
“It was an intense weekend in which we raced to the limit, and even beyond, in every respect. On Saturday afternoon the road surface conditions were certainly beyond the limit, which were really difficult and very different from what can be expected in a winter race: loose ice, deep ruts and gravel sections put the tyres under stress and put the drivers to the test. To make the conditions even more extreme was the combination of very uneven ground and high speeds. In addition, in the understandable and normal quest for performance by the teams, the settings of the cars and the parameters of the tyres themselves were also pushed to the limit. However, a distinction must be made between the incidents that occurred. The Hyundai cars suffered delaminations in SS13. Together with the team, with whom there is a historical and very productive collaboration, we identified the problem and found solutions. Tänak , on the other hand, did not suffer a delamination in SS14, but a puncture with a slow air leak, which also resulted in damage to the tyre structure after kilometres of flat driving. In the rest of the weekend, when the conditions were properly winter, we saw great performances, with very high speed peaks and a tight and interesting race”.
Of note in WRC2 was the victory of Oliver Solberg in a Skoda Fabia, who dominated the race from the start. In the WRC Junior, the season premier, William Creighton won followed by Laurent Pellier.
Below is a graphic summary of Rally Sweden