The Italian company’s build-up to the season – the first of four as the exclusive tyre supplier to the WRC – wasn’t helped by the Coronavirus pandemic, which limited it to just a three-month window in summer and autumn to test the tyres.
Despite that, both the winter Sottozero and P Zero racers worked well on the Gap-based event.
“We’re really pleased with the results from Rallye Monte-Carlo,” said Pirelli’s rally activity manager Terenzio Testoni.
“Never has there been so little grip, due to the amount of ice and mud on the road, compared to the snow that has characterised recent years. Despite that, our winter Sottozero tyres, both with and without studs, allowed the rally to run as usual – this demonstrated excellent levels of performance.
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“We’re very happy with the performance from the studded tyres. I don’t think we had a tyre which lost a single stud, which is impressive when you consider how much dry Tarmac there was for these tyres to cope with as well.”
Pirelli’s next task is to supply studded tyres for the unique winter challenge of Arctic Rally Finland (26 - 28 February). The second round of the series runs in the Arctic Circle where temperatures could be as low as -20°C, with heavy snow covering ice-packed roads. None of this phases Testoni.
“We are looking forward to that rally,” he said. “Historically, we have always had a really strong tyre for those types of rally and I think this will be the case again.
“But to be ready for Monte in three months shows what we are capable of. We’re ready.”