Accolades bestowed on Pirelli's three-year run as WRC tire supplier

Jan. 1, 2020
Pirelli reports that it has garnered much praise after completing its three-year tenure as the official tire supplier to the FIA World Rally Championship circuit (WRC).
Pirelli reports that it has garnered much praise after completing its three-year tenure as the official tire supplier to the FIA World Rally Championship circuit (WRC).

The tire maker was awarded the exclusive agreement in 2008, and since then it has supplied a total of 27,995 tires for use in 40 WRC events conducted on snow, ice, asphalt and gravel, covering more than 14,000 kilometers of special stages.

Under the terms of its contract with the FIA, Pirelli was challenged to focus on durability rather than outright performance when developing its P Zero, Scorpion and Sottozero range of WRC tires.

Although Pirelli won’t be competing for outright victory in WRC events next season, when it begins its three-year agreement as the official tire supplier to the FIA Formula One World Championship, the company “remains fully committed to rallying” and will be a part of several national and international series in 2011 as well as supplying tires to the new WRC Academy, a training category for young drivers.

“We didn’t have any problems, no punctures, everybody was on the same level, and the tires were competitive,” says Olivier Quesnel, chief of the Citroën Total World Rally Team, which has won the manufacturers’ title for the last three seasons with Pirelli. “The support has been really good and we regret,” he laments, that the company will no longer be the official WRC tire supplier.

“It has been a fantastic three years,” says Christian Loriaux, technical director for Ford’s racing team. “They have always been very professional with a good and consistent product and provided a very good level of service. They have also been very fair in everything they do and there are a lot of very nice guys in the Pirelli team who have become friends.”

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The completion of Pirelli’s three-year involvement in the WRC coincided with an eighth victory of the season for seven-time world champion Sébastien Loeb in the Rally GB held at the Welsh capital of Cardiff. He defeated Petter Solberg and Jari-Matti Latvala in a tense finish.

“When I heard that Latvala had a problem with his tire,” says Loeb, “I knew it would be because of a problem with the rim, because with the Pirelli tire you don’t have punctures. It has been a very good three years with no problems at all.”

“I’m very proud of the success we have achieved and would like to thank all the drivers, teams and the Pirelli staff, not just the people on Rally GB but the people in the rally department in Milan and the factory in Turkey,” notes Mario Isola, Pirelli’s rally manager.

“They have been a very important part of a successful experience,” he points out. “Our targets were to produce a tire that had solid puncture resistance and gave good consistency and we managed this even though we only had six months to get ready.”

For more information visit www.us.pirelli.com.

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