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Pirelli at the 2005 Dakar

Milan, 15 December 2004 – Racing Italy on the attack at the
2005 Dakar. In probably the most spectacular and suggestive
category: truck.
Pirelli is back competing in the world’s most famous motor sport
marathon: almost 10,000 kilometres of unmade tracks and desert in
an environment that has always been hostile, all the way to that
celebrated beach in Senegal.
Pirelli has joined forces with a top class partner of great motor
sport tradition for its return to the African race: Iveco, which
will compete with the Motorsport Italia team. An all-Italian
operation, writing another chapter in a long and successful story,
which has linked the Pirelli brand and the Fiat Group in racing for
decades.

Drivers of the Pirelli-shod Iveco Eurocargos, which have long been
part of commercial vehicle transport’s and marathon rallying’s
history, will be two men who occupy a special place in the hearts
of the Italians: double world rally champion Massimo “Miki” Biasion
and Markku Alen, who holds a Finnish passport but is Italian by
association, having competed in and won world championship rallies
for many years at the wheel of Fiats and Lancias, almost always on
Pirelli tyres.
As well as having won two world rally championships with the Lancia
Delta Integrale at the end of the Eighties, Miki Biasion is also a
double World Tout Terrain champion, having won those titles with an
Iveco Eurocargo in 1998 and 1999. His co-driver/navigator will be
Giorgio Albiero.
Markku Alen is one of the top rally drivers of all time, with
successes in Fiats and Lancias to his credit on the special stages
of the world. Completing the two Iveco-Pirelli line-up – each
vehicle will carry a three man crew – will be Livio Diamante, a
Dakar veteran, and Toni Guido, who has competed in the event nine
times.

The two Iveco Eurocargo 140E24 WS trucks will be fitted with
Pirelli PS 22 Pista tyres of normal production and in size 14.00 R
20. Tyres able to deliver extremely high performance and a maximum
guarantee of resistance and reliability, as they have already shown
in a recent test session in Tunisia. The Pirelli PS 22 Pista, in
particular, demonstrated an excellent “floating” ability at
extremely low pressures in harsh environments on sand and an
undaunted resistance to tears and cuts: so an optimum choice with
which to take on an event like the Dakar.
Pirelli will also compete in the 2005 Dakar with two private
Spanish teams, which have chosen to race on its tyres: they are the
PROmotor-Les Comes and Tibau squads.

The Dakar will start from Barcelona on 1 January 2005. The route
will take competitors through Spain and on board ship bound for
Morocco for the first of the African special stages. After that
comes Mauritania, a number of stages in the Sahara Desert, then the
forests of Mali and on to Senegal for the finish on 16 January 2005
by Dakar’s celebrated pink lake.