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Pirelli at the Monte Carlo Rally

Milan, January 16, 2000 – A new World Rally Championship
begins! The first championship of the 21st century opens in
traditional fashion with the Monte Carlo Rally, the most difficult
and precise event of the season regarding problems of tyre choice.
The basic road surface of asphalt would be quite easy to tackle in
the summer but during the winter, with all its variable weather
conditions from wet roads to thick snow and very low temperatures,
makes this a uniquely difficult event to predict.

For Pirelli, Monte Carlo also marks a series of momentous
sporting anniversaries from its past and results that wrote the
motorsport history of the ‘long P’ in Pirelli’s brand name.
Significant among those high points is the 1995 Monte Carlo victory
scored by the Subaru Impreza driven by Carlos Sainz. This splendid
result came through an excellent performance by the Pirelli PZero
range of tyres and it remains in our collective rally memory. Sainz
(and his then team mate Colin McRae) scored many special stage wins
thanks to Pirelli’s ‘thermal’ compound tyres that allowed them to
tackle snow and ice without the need for studs yet also to attain
very high speeds on stages where the asphalt was ‘clean’. This
performance by Pirelli was repeated with Piero Liatti’s spectacular
victory, again for Subaru, two years later.

The technology and experience gained in those times has been
perfected along with the technical expertise of the Subaru team
that, last season, won more World Championship rallies than any
other manufacturer in the competition. That’s why Pirelli has very
high hopes for success in this Monte Carlo Rally (January 20-22),
hopes that are even higher considering the extensive technical and
human resources of the other team supplied by Pirelli, SEAT, that
recently strengthened its driver line-up by signing former World
Champion Didier Auriol.

In total Pirelli will have a PZero range comprising around 2500
tyres, the fruit of a major effort in testing, evolution and
production. The tyres are now explained by their name and
performance characteristics…


Around 2500 tyres, the results of the latest evolution following
a long winter test programme across Europe, and all equipped with
the latest EMI anti-deflation system provide Pirelli’s weapons for
this year’s Monte Carlo Rally.


RP (size 225/650-18)

Type: Asphalt tyre
Compound options: Level 5, 7 and 9 (from the hardest to the
Description: Suitable for dry to damp roads and also black ice (the
softer compounds)

RS (size 225/650-18)

Type: Asphalt tyre
Compound options: Level 7 and 9
Description: Ideal for use on dirty and slippery roads

RE (size 225/650-18)

Type: Intermediate tyre
Compound options: Level 7 and 9
Description: For damp to wet roads. The level 9 thermal compound
can successfully operate in very low temperatures

N (size 225/650-18)

Type: Wet tyre
Compound options: 3 and 9
Description: For damp/wet roads and including melting snow. The
level 9 compound is exclusively for the Monte Carlo Rally

NOTE: The higher the number on the tyre, the softer the


WX (size 225/55-18)

Type: Mixed surface
Compound options: Base and ice, with and without studs
Description: For mixed surface stages but with mainly clear

WM (size 165/75-16)

Type: Mixed surface
Compound options: Base and ice, always with studs
Description: For mixed surface stages but where at least 50% of the
stage is snow-covered


S16 (size 135/90-16)

Type: Studded tyre for use in heavy snow
Compound options: Single compound with studs
Description: Very narrow tread pattern for maximum directional
control and cornering performance


2 Subaru Impreza WRC Burns-Reid and Kankkunen-Repo
2 SEAT Cordoba WRC Auriol-Giraudet and Gardemeister-Lukander
4 Mitsubishi Lancer (GpN) Trelles, Stohl, Galli and Maselli

Other Pirelli-equipped teams and drivers will also compete in Monte



“Because I am new to the SEAT team, my winter testing has been
concentrated on the set-up of the car and the tyre work has only
been for me to learn the many types of construction and compound
that Pirelli has been developing. However, already I can see that
we have a good range of tyres and I am confident that we can enjoy
good results this year. I would prefer to have really difficult
Monte Carlo Rally weather because it makes the rally a bit of a
lottery for everyone and it will help my lack of experience!”


“The Monte Carlo Rally is 100% about getting the right choice of
tyre for the ever-changing conditions. Pirelli has produced a huge
range of tyres for the event – a lot of new compounds – and we’ve
tested everything since the end of last season. You have to know
what each tyre will do so that you can make the right choice. Monte
Carlo is the hardest rally of the season for me so I’ll be relying
on the advice from the Pirelli technicians and Subaru’s ice-note
crews to make my choices and, if I get them right, then I’m
confident we can get off to a great start this year”.


“Everything feels very good for SEAT and Pirelli after our winter
testing, especially with our snow tyres. I’m quite confident that
we have made a big improvement but of course you only find out how
much on the first stage of Monte Carlo! Like Didier, I hope that
the weather is changeable and we get mixed conditions. We’ve got
plenty of good options to choose from this year”.


“Pirelli has been working incredibly hard to be ready for this
season and I’m really pleased with the results, especially with the
snow tyres. We’ve tried tyres for just about every condition and
I’m feeling really confident. We’ve been able to find a lot more
performance and we are a lot better prepared for this season than
ever before. Monte Carlo, Sweden and Safari shouldn’t give us any
problems and I think we can have a good advantage right from the

Milan (Italy), 19 January 2000