Rallye Deutschland attracts a bumper entry
89 cars set to do battle on asphalt
The Michelin Pilot Sport FW (FW = full wet) features the same deeply-grooved tread pattern as the snow tyres used at Rallye Monte-Carlo to dispel water and is designed for use only in extremely wet weather where standing water is present.
Its very soft compound means it will deteriorate quickly in drier conditions, so drivers will need to be convinced their team’s weather forecasts are 100 per cent accurate for heavy rain over an entire loop of stages before selecting this option.
“It became apparent there was a lack of a genuine rain tyre with deep grooves to cut through the film of water when the surface water was too deep for an asphalt tyre designed for more normal conditions,” explained Michelin Competition director Pascal Couasnon.
The FW tyre will only be available for top priority World Rally Car drivers and not for competitors from the support categories such as WRC 2 and JWRC. Only eight tyres will be available for each driver in Germany, where the threat of heavy rain is ever-present in the mountains.
The new tyre will delight drivers, who have long complained that the standard wet weather options were not suitable for extreme weather on safety grounds.
The French manufacturer unveiled its new LTX Force gravel tyre at Neste Oil Rally Finland earlier this month and the Pilot Sport S4 (soft) and H4 (hard) rubber will be used for the first time at Rallye de France (3 - 5 October).
|Conditions:||Heavy rain, standing water|