Spain serves up gravel and asphalt tests for Pirelli

Martin Prokop returns for Spain

Pirelli will deploy both its Scorpion gravel and P Zero asphalt World Rally Championship tyres on the mixed-surface Spanish round this weekend. The Rally de Espana is the only WRC event to truly combine the two surfaces, with one day on gravel and then two on asphalt. To adapt to the surface change, teams will have to dramatically change the setups of the cars, including changing the type of tyres fitted. The event is based in Salou but begins in Barcelona on Thursday night with a 3.2-kilometre spectator stage in the Montjuic area that used to host the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix. Although this stage will be on asphalt streets, the cars will be in gravel specification in preparation for Friday, which features six stages and 115.9 kilometres predominantly on gravel – although the two runs over the longest Terra Alta test will include asphalt sections. During this first part of the rally the Pirelli drivers will have the KHB hard compound and KSB soft compound gravel tyres. Then, for the 12 stages and 201.98 kilometres on sealed surfaces across Saturday and Sunday, Pirelli will provide its RK5A hard and RK7B soft asphalt tyres, as well as the Cinturato RW rain tyre introduced in Germany in August. Leading Pirelli drivers Pirelli will equip three World Rally Car privateers in Spain. Czech driver Martin Prokop will return in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC, joining Italian Lorenzo Bertelli in a similar model and Ukraine’s Valeriy Gorban in a Mini. In WRC2, Armin Kremer will drive a Skoda Fabia R5. After making a promising Pirelli-supported debut in an R5-specification Hyundai in Corsica, Italian youngster Fabio Andolfi resumes his WRC3 programme in a Peugeot 208 R2 backed by ACI (the Italian federation) and Pirelli. He will be up against team-mate Damiano De Tommaso as well as Frenchman Michel Fabre, who won his last three starts in the category with a Citroen DS3 R3T. The tyres and the rules World Rally Car drivers will be permitted to use 28 tyres during the rally with four tyres per tyre change opportunity and four spares. For gravel, Pirelli drivers will be able to choose from 12 of the 205/65-15 Scorpion KHB Reinforced hard compound and 10 of the 205/65-15 Scorpion KSB Reinforced soft compound. For asphalt, they will have 16 of the 235/40-18 P Zero RK5A hard compound, 12 of the 235/40-18 P Zero RK7B soft compound and 8 of the 235/40-18 Cinturato RW rain tyre. Quotes Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli rally activity manager: “Spain provides a unique challenge among World Rally Championship events for drivers, teams and tyre manufacturers alike. For Pirelli, it is an opportunity to demonstrate the performance of our K gravel tyres and RK asphalt tyres in the same rally. Competitors need strong performance on both surfaces to achieve a good result. The gravel stages in Spain are quite rocky, while the asphalt stages are fast and smooth and similar to a racing circuit. High temperatures will test tyre durability.”


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