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Pirelli to Star at the Memorial Bettega with Loeb, Solberg, Gronholm & Duval

The most important event of the Bologna Motor Show's final weekend will see Pirelli supply its Scorpion tyres to several top stars of the FIA World Rally Championship. With a line-up that includes Loeb, Gronholm, Solberg, Sordo, Duval and Galli, the Italian tyre firm will be better represented than ever...

Bologna, 13 December 2008- Pirelli will once more be a protagonist of the 2008 Bologna Motor Show, with several of the FIA World Rally Championship's top stars headlining the event that traditionally concludes the show.

On Saturday and Sunday, the public will be able to see the drivers who have dominated the FIA World Rally Championship since 2002 in action on the rallysprint track outside the exhibition halls: Marcus Gronholm (champion in 2000 and 2002), Petter Solberg (champion in 2003) and Sebastien Loeb - who has claimed the title for the last five years running. Loeb also holds the record for the highest number of wins in the championship (47 in total, 11 of which were claimed during the 2008 season).

Driving factory cars running on Pirelli Scorpion tyres (Loeb with the Citroen C4 WRC, Solberg with the Subaru Impreza WRC and Gronholm with the Ford Focus WRC) the three champions will form a highlight of the weekend in Bologna. Loeb will start off proceedings at the famous Memorial Bettega, while Solberg and Gronholm will also do battle with other top stars, such as Citroen's number two Dani Sordo in a C4 WRC, Belgian ace Francois Duval (Subaru Impreza WRC), Irishman Kris Meeke (Citroen Xsara WRC) and the Italians Piero Longhi (Subaru Impreza WRC), Gigi Galli (Ford Focus WRC) and Simone Campedelli (Peugeot 307 WRC).

All the competing cars will use the Scorpion tyres that Pirelli has supplied throughout the recently completed World Rally season - the first year of the single tyre rule that sees Pirelli as the exclusive supplier until 2010.

Mario Isola, Pirelli's Rally Manager, said: "The Bettega Memorial Rallysprint has always been a very important event for Pirelli as it celebrates the end of another motorsport season in the best possible way, attracting enthusiastic crowds of fans. It is also an excellent promotional vehicle for our competition tyres, amongst other products. The presence of champions of the calibre of Loeb, Solberg and Gronholm underlines the event's international prestige, so it is only natural that Pirelli wishes to support such a well-known competition, which guarantees a thrilling spectacle every year."

December 2008