23 Mar 08
Pirelli’s Rally Manager Mario Isola says the decision to use its hard compound gravel tyre for Rally Argentina will favour drivers who can adapt their driving to the variety of road conditions expected.
After drawing widespread praise from drivers on Rally Mexico, the same specification of Pirelli Scorpion tyre will have to deal with the completely different challenge of soft and sandy gravel stages on the next round of the series.
Choosing a single control tyre for a varied surface rally such as Rally Argentina was always going to be a compromise, but with this year’s event scheduled at the end of the Argentinean summer, traditionally a time of unsettled weather, the decision was made even more difficult.
“This choice of this tyre for the event is not without its drawbacks,” said Isola. “But the main thing is that all the drivers are in the same situation, with the same tyres in the same stage and weather conditions. It’s important to point out that the decision to run the hard tyre in Argentina was approved by all the manufacturers and the FIA’s technical department - along with Pirelli’s engineers - back in November last year, as part of the plan to use all the different types of rubber that was agreed by everybody.
“This event presents the tyres with a considerable challenge, thanks to the soft and medium-soft surfaces - which are often sandy - and the cool temperatures on some of the stages that are nearly 2000 metres high. There’s even a risk of finding some snow, as has occasionally been the case in the past. Whoever is able to exploit the tyres best in all the different conditions, whilst avoiding the sharp rocks by the side of the road, will be in a strong position to make the difference over their rivals.”