1 minute read
4 Sep 2013
7:00 am

Pirelli to join WRC fray

Pirelli will return to the World Rally Championship next year after having been involved in the series since its inception in 1973.

TAKING OFF. Pirelli will be one of four official tyre suppliers for the 2014 World Rally Championship.

The company was last represented at the top level of world rallying from 2008 to 2010 as sole supplier to all the teams. Now the Italian firm – currently the exclusive tyre supplier to Formula One – returns in open competition and was nominated together with three other tyre manufacturers to supply the World Rally Championship from 2014.

Pirelli has a long and illustrious history in rallying both as a single supplier and in open competition. To date the Milan-based company has racked up 180 world rally championship event wins.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said they were delighted to come back to a sport where they felt at home.

“For the time being we don’t have agreements with any official manufacturers so we’re not expecting to compete for overall victories, but instead provide the best possible service to our customers,” Hembery said. “We’re confident in the excellence of our products, and their competitiveness with the latest generation of World Rally Car machinery. For a tyre manufacturer rallying is a challenge as the tyres are tested on every road surface, in a huge variety of climatic conditions.”

He said Pirelli was looking forward to the challenge and becoming a partner in a championship that was set to go from strength to strength, thanks to increased promotion and a high level of interest from new manufacturers.

The newest generation of Pirelli’s rally tyres have been adapted to the latest World Rally Championship regulations, combining performance with durability. The opening round of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship, where Pirelli will make its comeback, is the Rallye Monte Carlo from January 14 to 19.