Pirelli control tyre for Australian GT
After competing as one of three tyre suppliers to the Australian GT Championship in 2012, Pirelli’s Australian motorsport supplier Trofeo Motorsport has been granted the rights to become the control tyre supplier for the 2013 season, and the naming rights sponsor for the category for the next three years.
The opening round of the new season was within an existing framework for the annual Bathurst 12-Hour race. In this particular race Pirelli was admittedly not the sole tyre on the track; under Bathurst 12-Hour regulations some registered Australian GT entrants were able to run with other manufacturers tyres. Despite this competition, victory went to a Pirelli-shod car.
“We’re very happy with the end result all things considered,” Trofeo Motorsport’s Rod Wilson shared. “We weren’t the predominant supplier in the field, because the ‘open’ tyre rule for this event over-rode the ‘control’ tyre situation with Australian GT, but our results speak for themselves.
With the Italian tyre manufacturer now in its third year as the sole tyre supplier to Formula One, is there any flow down effect to categories like Australian GT? “I think Pirelli have built their product range up over many, many years around motorsport,” commented Wilson. “I think certainly with their current involvement with Formula One. Clearly it is a brand that is known, and they’re also associated with a range of top marques as original equipment – Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche to name a few, so I think it’s important for them to support Formula One, because it appeals to that end of the market.
“They also support sports car racing all over the world, from the FIA GT Championships (GT1 and GT3), the Blancpain Endurance Series [on which much of the AGT rules are based], so Australian GT really completes that picture, and of course with the addition of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Pirelli – we’ve pretty much covered the whole spectrum of sports car racing in Australia.
“Ideally we would like to draw on some of the ideas that have filtered down from Formula One with multiple compounds,” Wilson continued. “We have a single DH compound that is going to be used in AGT this year but certainly we’ve talked about trying to spice things up, and this is part of a multi-year relationship with AGT, in that plan there is an idea to use multiple compounds. That will also depend on where the races are, the logistics, how long they are, etc.”
“If we can come up with some programmes that will achieve the kind of results we’re now seeing in Formula One through multiple compounds, we’ll do it for sure.
“For us it’s now on to the second round of the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli at the Clipsal 500 [28 February – 3 March], where the GT cars will all be competing on the control Pirelli DH. Clipsal can be a challenging event in intense heat, but the Pirelli tyre has shown through the Bathurst weekend that it’s more than up to the task, and with more than 20 entries already registered, we’re really looking forward to showing the rest of the GT world, just how good our tyres are.”