WRC WITH P ZERO TYRES ON THE VARIED ROADS OF CROATIA
P Zero hard compound for the first pure asphalt encounter of 2022
Stages around Zagreb characterised by frequent surface changes
Junior WRC contenders among over 50 four-wheel drive cars equipped by Pirelli
The FIA World Rally Championship resumes at the Croatia Rally: the first pure asphalt event for the new hybrid Rally1 cars, which will be equipped with Pirelli’s latest P Zero tyres in the hard and soft compounds.
Why tyres matter in Croatia
Croatia made its WRC debut last year and provided a new challenge for the drivers and teams. The rally is staged on roads close to the capital city Zagreb featuring a wide variety of different asphalt types, meaning that grip levels are constantly changing.
The Pirelli tyres in Croatia
P Zero RA WRC: Pirelli’s asphalt rally tyre is available in two compounds for Croatia and other sealed-surface events. The first choice for Rally1 cars will be the hard compound (RA WRC HA) which was first run at Rally Spain last October but was developed with the 2022 cars in mind, while the alternative soft compound (RA WRC SA) makes its debut this year, taking over from the WRC S seen on Rallye Monte-Carlo.
P Zero RA: The less powerful Rally2 cars used in WRC2, as well as the Rally3 cars used in WRC3 and Junior WRC, also have P Zero tyres available in hard (RA5) and soft (RA7+) compounds. These feature many of the same characteristics of the WRC tyres fitted to the top cars.
Cinturato RW: All of the four-wheel drive categories have a dedicated rain tyre available for wet conditions on asphalt rallies. The Cinturato RWB is available for Rally1 and Rally2 cars, while Rally3 cars use the new Cinturato RW1 compound.
Terenzio Testoni, rally activity manager: “Croatia will be the first opportunity to see the potential of the hybrid Rally1 cars on a pure asphalt event. Our preparation for this rally has included the first of three in-season tyre tests, and the feedback from all three of the top teams on their pre-event running has been positive. The drivers discovered last year just how demanding the roads in Croatia can be with the mix of different surfaces and conditions, so there should be another challenging and exciting weekend ahead on roads where grip makes all the difference.”
Pirelli in numbers
Pirelli will bring around 2700 tyres to Croatia, of which 700 will be for the top class of Rally1 cars.
Each Rally1 driver can use up to 28 tyres during the rally, including shakedown. Each car has a total allocation of:
- 28 P Zero RA WRC HA
- 18 P Zero RA WRC SA
- 8 Cinturato RWB
Pirelli will also supply 280 tyres to Junior WRC competitors for round two of their season:
- 18 P Zero RA5
- 10 P Zero RA7+
- 12 Cinturato RW1
- A maximum of 22 tyres are allowed to be used (including shakedown)
Pirelli will also supply 1700 tyres to the other four-wheel drive cars in the event, including those entered in WRC2 and WRC3:
- 26 P Zero RA5
- 18 P Zero RA7+
- 8 Cinturato RWB/RW1
- A maximum of 26 tyres are allowed to be used (including shakedown)
The big number: 0.6. The first WRC Croatia Rally in 2021 provided a close battle with just 0.6 seconds separating Toyota drivers Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans in first and second positions at the finish. That was the third-smallest winning margin in WRC history, and the smallest ever between team-mates.
What to look out for
Most of the stages are carried over from the 2021 route and located near Zagreb. But there are two new stages, both increasing the geographical spread of the action. The Platak stage on Saturday takes place further west near Rijeka on the Adriatic Sea coast, while Trakoscan – Vrbno runs as the first of Sunday’s two repeated stages and is the weekend’s most northerly test.