22
January
2006
|
10:00
Europe/Amsterdam

Two Subaru-Pirelli In The First Six In The Wrc "Monte Carlo Rally" 2006

Monte Carlo, 22 January 2006 - Pirelli achieved a reasonably satisfying result at the 74 th Monte Carlo Rally, the opening round in the World Rally  Championship. Fifth place by Stphane Sarrazin of France and sixth by Australian Chris Atkinson, making his debut on the special stages of the Principality, should be seen as generally encouraging, especially as the works Subaru team lost its leader Petter Solberg on the first leg. The second leg brought the retirement of Gigi Galli (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), for a long time up with the leaders in the early phase of the event. Mario Isola, Pirelli Competizioni Rally Manager, commented, "Overall, we are satisfied with the performance of Pirelli tyres in this demanding rally. The extreme variability of the weather conditions put our tyres to a severe test, but they worked well on all types of surface. The P Zero WX, developed for snow and ice covered asphalt, enabled Galli to climb to the top before his k.o and Sarrazin and Atkinson to do well on many stages. Subaru drivers also liked the new RX9 soft slick and RE9 soft intermediate, which increased grip, braking power and feeling with the car". Sarrazin observed, "We were no able to recoup the time we lost on the first leg, when the tyres' choice proved erroneous in the early phase and when we fitted ideal tyres for the Saturday stage that was annulled. A light tap against the edge of the road when I was attacking with the new intermediates stopped me from exploiting the advantage to the full, but the Impreza- P Zero cocktail has shown excellent potential". On the last leg, Atkinson even applied the cautious tactic he used on the second day. "Achieving a placing like this the first time I have competed in the Monte Carlo? This was an unthinkable result at the start of the event and I am proud of my performance. Surface conditions changed continually and it was difficult to make the right tyre choice for all of the stages completed with just one set of P Zero . But Pirelli helped me a lot, selecting tyres that offered notable grip on such diverse surfaces. And then I did not push more than necessary, aiming to finish in the points". Pirelli Competizioni also shone in Group N, where Britain 's David Higgins took an excellent second place driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, while Swiss champion Patrick Heintz finished his first Monte Carlo Rally with a good fourth place in the group. The next round in the World Rally Championship is the Swedish Rally ( Karlstad , 3-5 February 2006). Rally Monte Carlo 's final classification, WRC 2006 Event nr. 01:
  1. Gronholm (Ford) 4h11'43''9
  2. Loeb (Citron) +1'01''8
  3. Gardemeister (Peugeot) +1'23''1
  4. Stohl (Peugeot) +1'42''3
  5. Sarrazin (Subaru) +3'20''2
  6. Atkinson (Subaru) +5'02''4
For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit www.pirellicompetizioni.com