Pirelli Scorpions Take on the Last of the "Mediterranean" Challenges in Turkey
From Friday, the FIA World Rally Championship takes centre stage in Kemer, close to Antalya, for the last of three rough gravel rallies that will take place around the Mediterranean. Following on from the Acropolis Rally less than two weeks ago, Pirelli's engineers are confident heading into this extremely challenging event - which should nonetheless be faster and less punishing than the Greek classic.
Milan, 9th of June 2008 - Just two weeks after an extremely tough Acropolis Rally, the World Rally Championship protagonists running on Pirelli Scorpion tyres, will face another quite similar event. On Thursday night the first stage of the Rally of Turkey gets underway: an event that should be just as challenging but not quite as much of a massacre for men, machines and tyres as the Acropolis - which ended last Sunday.
Just as was the case in Sardinia and then Greece, the Turkish stages will contain gravel that is some of the roughest on the entire World Rally Championship. Nonetheless, the Rally of Turkey stages are quicker and run at higher altitudes - through the Anatolian mountains - than those of the Acropolis. So the hard compound Pirelli Scorpion tyres will still be subjected to an extremely demanding route, but one that is not quite as aggressive as the 55th Acropolis Rally that has just finished.
Mario Isola, Pirelli's Rally Manager, explained: "Although we are expecting dry weather and ground temperatures lower than 30Â°C, the surface of the Turkish stages are characterised by a hard base, often covered with sharp rocks. On the high altitude sections, which climb to over 1800 metres above sea level, the temperatures are likely to be less aggressive for drivers, cars and tyres.
However, the variable climate of the region is such that sudden downpours are far from impossible, and these can turn the stages into a quagmire. But the hard compound Pirelli Scorpion tyres have already demonstrated that they are more than capable of dealing with even these extreme conditions, as was the case in Argentina at the end of March. So we are all feeling confident ahead of the Rally of Turkey, which marks the halfway point of the 2008 World Rally Championship."