Corsica the next test for Pirelli P Zero RK asphalt tyres in the WRC

Corsica the next test for Pirelli P Zero RK asphalt tyres in the WRC

28.09.2016: Pirelli and its P Zero RK asphalt tyres will take on another challenging round of the World Rally

Pirelli and its P Zero RK asphalt tyres will take on another challenging round of the World Rally Championship this week: the legendary Tour de Corse.

The Cinturato RW full wet tyre, designed to maximise grip and water clearance, will also be offered after its successful introduction on Rallye Deutschland last month, when drivers praised the feeling of safety it gave them in wet conditions.

 It may well be needed again in Corsica if there’s a repeat of the torrential rain that hit the Mediterranean island last year on its return to the WRC.

Nicknamed the ‘Rally of 10,000 Corners’, the Corsican event is one of the toughest for drivers and also for tyres.

The narrow roads contain non-stop twists and turns, and are often lined by rock faces on one side and steep drops on the other, making mistakes costly. There are frequent surface changes, including very abrasive sections.

The itinerary poses a different challenge to other WRC events. There are only 10 stages, but half of them are close to or over 50 kilometres and four of the others around 30 kilometres long.

This creates a total of 390 competitive kilometres: nearly 20 per cent more than 2015 and only Rally Mexico has been longer this season. Seventy per cent of this route has changed and so has the host town, with Bastia the new base.

To best handle these long, demanding stages, the RK5A hard compound has been chosen as the main tyre, while the RK7B soft will also be available as an option for cooler or slippery conditions.

Leading Pirelli drivers

The Pirelli effort in Corsica is centred around two of Italy’s leading rally drivers of the moment. Regular World Rally Car privateer Lorenzo Bertelli returns in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC after missing Germany while his co-driver Simone Scattolin recovered fully from a crash in Finland.

Rising star Fabio Andolfi meanwhile will step up to the brand new Hyundai i20 R5, a car eligible for the WRC2 category that is making its competitive debut on this event.

 The 23-year-old Andolfi, co-driven by Manuel Fenoli, is supported by Pirelli and ACI (the Italian motorsport federation) and has been at the forefront of the WRC3 category this year, winning the class in Sardinia against more powerful opposition.

The tyres and the rules

World Rally Car drivers are permitted to use 28 tyres during the rally, with four tyres per tyre change opportunity and four spares.

In Corsica, they can choose from 28 of the 235/40-18 P Zero RK5A hard compound, 22 of the 235/40-18 P Zero RK7B soft compound and eight of the 235/40-18 Cinturato RW rain tyre.


Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli rally activity manager:

“Corsica is undoubtedly one of the toughest rallies on the calendar for tyres. The length of the stages alone demands great durability, but the nature of these stages with so many corners means the tyres are constantly being worked.

Abrasive asphalt also contributes to wear, but can be followed by newer, smoother Tarmac that requires good grip from the tyres. Then there is the changeable weather, but our drivers can place their confidence in the Cinturato RW rain tyre if required after its positive debut in Germany.

It’s a pleasure to see Lorenzo and Simone back in action, and very exciting to support Fabio in his step up from R2 to R5 machinery and to do so with a brand new car.

Fabio really deserves this opportunity and we really believe that he has the potential to become a champion of the future.”

Anthony Peacock - photo Pirelli


28.09.2016 / MaP

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