Pirelli: WRC tyre supply confirms “leadership in world motorsport”
The era of Michelin tyres dominating the World Rally Championship (WRC) is drawing to a close. The FIA has chosen Pirelli as sole tyre supplier for the WRC from 2021 to 2024. With its selection, Pirelli sees itself at “the top of motorsport” thanks to its exclusive tyre supply to both the leading rally and single-seater racing championships. “These successful campaigns confirm Pirelli’s leadership in world motorsport,” comments the tyre maker.
Pirelli will supply all the four-wheel-drive cars that compete in the headline World Rally Car (Rally1) class and the R5 (Rally2) class, including the WRC 2 and WRC 3 support championships.
“Technology and passion are two key elements that Pirelli bring to motorsport, and these have allowed us to secure the single tyre supply for the World Rally Championship,” states Giovanni Tronchetti Provera, Pirelli’s senior vice president of prestige and motorsport. “We’ve supported young drivers in the Junior category for many years and now we’re returning to the top class as well.”
Pirelli’s commitment to supporting the careers of young drivers is also set to continue. Alongside continued supply to the Junior WRC, Pirelli will carry on equipping the Junior ERC3 class on the European Rally Championship.
“Our return to the top level of rallying is something that we were considering for a while, and it’s particularly fitting that this appointment from the FIA comes in the year that Ott Tänak – a graduate of the Pirelli Star Driver programme – was crowned world champion,” comments Mario Isola, Pirelli’s head of F1 and car racing. “Supplying the WRC alongside F1 will enable us to improve our products still further by putting them against some of the most varied and demanding conditions seen in motorsport.”
Pirelli in rallying
Pirelli has been present in rallying since 1973, claiming 25 world titles and winning 181 WRC events. More recently, Pirelli was sole supplier to the WRC from 2008 to 2010, and since 2018 it has supplied tyres for drivers in the WRC2 category. Rallying has always been a perfect open-air laboratory for Pirelli’s engineers to test out new technologies that are eventually destined for road use, thanks to the extreme conditions that characterise the sport.
Supplying WRC with proven rally range
Pirelli will supply the WRC with tyres that have already been seen on different rally championships throughout the world. The P Zero RA is for asphalt, with different compounds available to suit the terrain and weather conditions. The Sottozero Snow (with or without studs) is used for snowy conditions, the Sottozero Ice J1 is specifically designed for Rally Sweden, while on gravel the reinforced Scorpion K is able to cope with a wide variety of loose surface conditions.