On Thursday, Pirelli will return as exclusive tyre supplier to the FIA World Rally Championship after an absence of more than ten years. The Rallye Monte-Carlo – itself 110 years old in 2021 – is considered one of the most demanding anywhere in the world because of the often changeable weather conditions encountered on the asphalt roads that snake their way through the French Alps. Pirelli is bringing around 3,200 tyres to this challenging rally round.
Pirelli’s new rally tyre for snow and ice, which has studs longer than 8mm, will make its first appearance this weekend. Fitted to R5 cars on the Arctic Rally from 15-16 January, the Sottozero Ice WJ debuts at the opening round of the Finnish Rally Championship. Its long titanium-tipped studs are locked into place using Pirelli’s patented vulcanisation process for retention. A new tread pattern design helps the tyre to capitalise on the increased grip supplied by the studs. Pirelli says the new tyre will be available commercially for national championships run in extreme winter conditions, such as those run in the Scandinavian and Baltic regions. It is suitable for R5, R2 and historic rally vehicles.
Despite disruption from the coronavirus pandemic, Pirelli maintained its schedule for developing the WRC tyres for the start of its three-year tenure as sole WRC tyre supplier in 2021. The tyre maker showed off the range today at an event on the opening day of Rally Italia Sardegna.
Protyre shares that the opening round of the 2020 Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship has been postponed owing to the coronavirus outbreak. The Legend Fires North West Stages were scheduled to take place on Saturday 20 March.
Yuasa has announced that the battery brand has become title sponsor of rally driver Matt Edwards and co-driver Darren Garrod, with the unveiling of a new car and livery on the Pirelli stand at Autosport International. The move sees the Yuasa Rally Team name enter the sport for the first time as the title sponsor of M-Sport’s BRC operation. The team will tackle stages across the UK, Ireland and Belgium in the all-new Ford Fiesta R5 MkII carrying Yuasa’s distinctive red, white and black livery, made popular in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).
Yokohama’s Geolandar M/T G003 tyres for SUVs and pickup trucks will be fitted to the Korando DKR driven by Oscar Fuertes Aldanondo and Diego Vallejo for Ssangyong Motorsport/Sodicars Racing on the 2020 Dakar Rally (5-17 January). The same car and drivers came in third in the T1.3 petrol 2-wheel drive class in the January 2019 event, and will take on competition in the same class this year.
Goodyear will be the official tyre supplier to two top teams in the upcoming Dakar Rally. The rally returns to its roots in the desert on 5 January in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and the shift to a new continent presents new challenges to tyre suppliers, drivers and vehicles. The 2020 rally will run over sand dunes, rocky canyons and wadis or dry riverbeds, all on standard truck tyres. Goodyear has a strong record on the rally in recent years, with Petronas De Rooy Iveco occupying podium places, including two first places, with Goodyear as their tyre and development partner.
In the 1970s, Pirelli and the 124 Rally were at the forefront of rallying. Half a century later, the two Italian brands are celebrating their historic association at the Abarth Days in Milan, the biggest European gathering for fans of the marque.
Preparing rounded future professionals for the demands of motorsport is often best achieved through a mixture of education and experience. Hence Oxford Universities Motorsport Foundation (OUMF) offers exactly these sorts of opportunities to young people, running a multitude of classic cars in some of the world’s most prestigious racing events. Motorsport isn’t kind to vehicle components though, so when the OUMF required a new racing exhaust for its Mercedes 380 SL rally car project, the UK’s largest manufacturer of aftermarket exhausts, Klarius Products Ltd, was ready to offer a solution.
50 years of Pirelli’s association with Carlisle will be marked by the ceremonial start of the Pirelli International Rally taking place at its Dalston Road factory, with 19 British Rally Championship crews setting off with Pirelli rubber fitted to their cars this Saturday.
Dmack is celebrating its eighth year as tyre partner to the FIA CODASUR South American Rally Championship. The tyre supplier states that the championship is one of the world’s most diverse regional championships. It has provided competitors with gravel tyres for a wide range of surfaces – from rocky gravel roads to clay and mud.
Rising rally star Ed Fossey will continue to expand his experience on Yokohama tyres in 2019. The 20-year-old has been retained by global tyre brand Yokohama for a fourth year in a row, with Fossey promising push the Japanese products to the limits in the search for impressive stage times and class wins in his Peugeot 208 R2.
Global motorsport tyre brand Dmack has announced that it will “open its own tyre manufacturing facility” in Italy, following a deal to use part of Marangoni’s Rovereto plant in northern Italy. The Carlisle-based brand said it would be “capable of producing up to 250,000 tyres per year” at Rovereto, with the “flexibility to tailor short production runs for very specific applications and to meet demands for control tyre championships.” The company adds that it wants to transfer its technical capability into racing by producing world-class products for the circuit racing and track markets. Most famous for supplying tyres to the FIA World Rally Championship since 2011, Dmack tyres were previously produced by Chinese manufacturer, Shandong Yongtai, which recently went into administration, before shifting to Cooper Tires’ UK factory in Melksham, which itself is set to reduce production by a half when it halts production of road-going light vehicle tyres next year.
Maxxis-supported rally driver Pat Naylor achieved back-to-back victories at the Trackrod Rally, Yorkshire. His first in class finish highlighted the synergy between car, driver and Maxxis’ R19 tyre, finishing the season in style.