Pirelli faces the challenge of Rally Sweden with Sottozero Ice

Pirelli faces the challenge of Rally Sweden with Sottozero Ice

13.02.2018: This weekend, Pirelli travels to Rally Sweden – round two of the World Rally Championship – with its famous Sottozero Ice tyres, designed with 384 studs which are bonded into the tyre in a patented process during

This weekend, Pirelli travels to Rally Sweden – round two of the World Rally Championship – with its famous Sottozero Ice tyres, designed with 384 studs which are bonded into the tyre in a patented process during vulcanisation. Like Pirelli itself, Rally Sweden first formed part of the World Rally Championship when the series was founded back in 1973.



The challenge
: Rally Sweden is the only true winter event on the entire World Rally Championship calendar, providing the competitors with a unique challenge. The stages consist of gravel roads covered in snow and ice, so special studded tyres are used to bite into the surface and provide grip. This year, plenty of snow is expected on the stages – which has not always been the case in recent seasons.



The Pirelli drivers
: As well as the Junior World Rally Championship, where Pirelli is sole supplier, the company is also equipping other drivers outside of the JWRC in Sweden, including 2017 reigning World Rallycross champion Johan Kristofferson, as well as Toyota protégés Takamoto Katsuta and Hiroki Arai.



 Other Pirelli entrants include well-known names such as Kevin Abbring, Mattias Adielsson, Janne Tuohino, Tamara Molinaro and Jarkko Nikara (another former Pirelli Star Driver). In total, including JWRC, 33 drivers will start the rally on Pirelli tyres.



The product
: A single type of tyre will be used in Sweden: the Sottozero Ice 1. Each tyre features 384 studs with unique tungsten tips to provide excellent grip despite the very slippery surface. Pirelli’s unique vulcanisation process helps to ensure that the studs stay in the tyre even when there is gravel on the stages.



The rules
: The drivers are allowed to use up to 22 tyres during the event, with a separate allocation for the shakedown. Drivers no longer use special narrow tyres for Sweden: instead the wheel rim size has to be identical to what is used on gravel. The studs can be up to 20 millimetres long in total (with no limit as to the protrusion) and have a maximum weight of four grams.



The event
: Rally Sweden gets underway on Thursday 15 February with the first of 19 special stages, totalling 314.25 kilometres. The finish is at lunchtime on Sunday 18 February at Torsby. A peculiarity of Rally Sweden is that Friday’s action takes place mainly in Norway.



Pirelli quote: Terenzio Testoni, rally activity manager
: “We’re very happy to welcome some special guests in Sweden, such as reigning World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristofferson, who has shown a lot of promise in testing for his WRC debut. It’s great to be part of this adventure with him. We’re expecting low temperatures with plenty of snow this weekend, which it makes it ideal territory for our Sottozero Ice.



However, even if conditions get more gravelly – especially further down the field – our production process means that competitors can expect to retain most of the studs in the tyre: key to success on Rally Sweden.”





Anthony Peacock -photo Pirelli

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/pirelli-challenge-rally-schweden-sottozero-ice---172554.html

13.02.2018 / MaP

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