01 Jan 08
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery has talked of his confidence in the performance of the World Rally Championship’s control tyre as the first season under the new regulation gets underway.
The Monte Carlo Rally later this month will mark the Italian tyre firm’s return to the WRC after a season away from the pinnacle of the sport in 2007. Despite being away from the sport, Pirelli has, however, spent months testing its range of new tyres in readiness for the year ahead.
Hembery said: “I’m really excited about the new season. Pirelli’s involvement in the sport has obviously taken on a different role, and that’s something people are going to have to get used to. The days of competition among tyre manufacturers are over, we’re now focused on investing in the sport’s future.
“The tyres themselves have performed really well in testing. Until the other day, we hadn’t had a single deflation. We had a call to say there had been a deflation, so we went to look at the tyre and found that half of the wheel had been lost as well! The tyres are heavily reinforced and on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being puncture-proof, I’d say we were up there with a 10 for the tyres. We have made very substantial improvements, but when you take chunk out of the rim it’s impossible to stop a deflation now.”