12 Feb 08
In spite of conditions that were far from ideal for winter tyres, with some stages that contained hardly any snow and ice at all, Pirelli’s new WRC snow tyre has earned a thumbs-up from teams and drivers.
Rally winner Latvala was one of many drivers to give his approval of the new rubber, saying he had been pleasantly surprised by the performance and grip over the three day rally.
Before the rally, some drivers had voiced concerns about how the new tyres would cope on the gravel sections as the snow and ice thawed. Stud retention and puncture resistance were two of the biggest worries.
But after the event Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director, said he was pleased with the Sottozero’s debut. “We had to face some very gravely conditions in Sweden this year which meant our tyres had to face a much wider performance window than we expected. But in spite of this challenge, the tyres proved they had strength and adaptability in the variable road conditions. We have been able to supply all the teams with a product capable of delivering the best possible performance - even in such unusual circumstances.”
Pirelli’s new gravel tyre will make its debut on Rally Mexico, round three of the 2008 WRC series