Pirelli PZero Tyres in Germany: The First Hot Engagement
The unexpectedly mild weather at the end of January saw Pirelli's asphalt PZero tyres being used on the Monte Carlo Rally, rather than the Sottozero winter tyres. The PZeros, at the cutting edge of technology, are almost infinitely adaptable and can be used on dry surfaces, wet surfaces, and even on the road.
Milan, 8 August 2008- On the Monte Carlo Rally in January the PZero tyres were used rather than the Pirelli Sottozero, because of an almost total absence of snow and mud on the opening round of the 2008 FIA World Rally Championship. Now the PZero tyres will enjoy their 'real' debut on the Rally Deutschland based in Trier, running in the conditions for which they were originally designed.
These tyres were actually conceived for use on both dry and wet asphalt (as is the case for most commercially available tyres) and they are also homologated for road use. Once more, this underlines the extreme versatility and reliability of Pirelli's asphalt rally product.
The Rally Deutschland will present Pirelli's tyres with a wide range of asphalt surfaces, which will test men, machines and tyres to the utmost. On Friday, the route takes in narrow vineyard roads that run along the shores of the Mosel River. These roads are formed of slippery and dirty asphalt, consisting of a series of straights and hairpin bends. The profile of the itinerary calls for a precise driving style and judicious use of the handbrake.
On Saturday the crews have to deal with broken cement roads on the fearsome 'Panzerplatte': part of the Baumholder military ranges that were originally designed for testing tanks. These roads are flanked by 'Hinkelsteine': huge blocks of concrete (or occasionally gravel) that are notoriously unforgiving. Sunday's route is more typical of a classic asphalt rally, run on clean and smooth roads not far from Trier. These stages are considerably less punishing on tyres than those of the previous days.
In Germany the teams will be able to choose between the medium and hard compound of PZero tyre, a limited number of which will be available to each car. The materials used in the tread pattern of this latest product from Pirelli already meet environmental legislation that is not due to come into force until 2010.
Pirelli's Rally Manager Mario Isola explains: "The Deutschland Rally is one of the most challenging asphalt rallies of the championship, because of the extreme diversity of the surfaces on which we compete. All of them present their own specific hurdles to overcome. The teams will have the chance to choose between medium and hard compound Pirelli PZero tyres, depending on the characteristics of the stages they are facing.
This aspect creates an interesting variable, which could hand an advantage to the team that makes the right choice. Finally, the extreme heat that often characterises the Rallye Deutschland - which is held as always in mid-August - could also influence the result. The FIA priority drivers will be allocated 36 soft-compound PZero tyres and 40 hard-compound tyres (including their allocation for the shakedown). The non-priority drivers and the PWRC competitors will have 20 Pirelli PZero soft tyres available and 28 hard tyres."