Scorpion K tyres round out WRC season in Australia as Pirelli fixes new rallying objectives for 2017

Nicolas Fuchs

Australia marks the final destination for the World Rally Championship in 2016 next weekend, when Pirelli will supply its Scorpion K gravel tyres. Rally Australia takes place in New South Wales on varied gravel roads, including fast and flowing sections across open countryside as well as tight and twisty forest tracks. The surface is usually not so abrasive with very loose gravel consisting of small round stones, but differing weather conditions can make the roads notably softer. Pirelli will supply its Scorpion KSB soft compound tyre as the main choice, with the Scorpion KHB hard compound also available for harder surfaces and longer stages. The event is based in Coffs Harbour, with 23 stages totalling 312.98 kilometres. Both Friday and Saturday feature a new spectator stage at Raleigh Raceway as well as two runs over a superspecial in the seafront Jetty area of Coffs Harbour. The Nambucca stage on Saturday is one of the longest of the season at 50.8 kilometres. The first two days take place mostly to the south of Coffs Harbour, while Sunday’s action is to the north including the Wedding Bells Power Stage. Leading Pirelli drivers Pirelli will have representation across all three main classes in Australia. Italian privateer Lorenzo Bertelli makes the trip with his Ford Fiesta RS WRC, looking to end his season with a strong result. Peru’s Nicolas Fuchs will start among the favourites for WRC2 honours in his Skoda Fabia R5, while Frenchman Michel Fabre will be out to record a fourth WRC3 win of the year in his Citroen DS3 R3T. Pirelli will also supply a number of local drivers including Brendan Reeves, the highest-seeded Australian and a former Pirelli Star Driver, in a Subaru Impreza. The tyres and the rules World Rally Car drivers will be permitted to use 24 tyres during the rally with four tyres per tyre change opportunity and four spares. Pirelli drivers will be able to choose from 24 of the 205/65-15 Scorpion KSB Reinforced soft compound and 16 of the 205/65-15 Scorpion KHB Reinforced hard compound. WRC2 drivers may use up to 26 tyres including on shakedown. Quotes Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “Rallying is a form of motorsport that we are very passionate about and will continue to support enthusiastically. However, we’re not homologating a WRC tyre for next season in order to concentrate on the 300 or so other championships that we supply worldwide. Among those is the FIA European Junior Championship, which fits in perfectly with our philosophy of promoting the careers of young drivers by giving them opportunities to compete on a wider platform. Most young rally drivers begin their careers on their national championships, so we will also be ensuring that we continue to supply our latest products to these championships all over the world, reinforcing our global presence in the sport into the future.” Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli rally activity manager: “Australia provides quite a different challenge to Wales because of the loose gravel that is typical of the event. With the stages varying in their characteristics though, a tyre also needs to demonstrate versatility and provide drivers with good grip in differing conditions. We have a good chance of ending the season on a high across all categories, so we are looking forward to getting started.”


For further information please contact: Anthony Peacock • +44 7765 896 930 • anthony@mediaticaworld.com