Mikko Hirvonen drives Pirelli shod Ford Fiesta Super 2000 to first-place at world’s most prestigious rally

MONTE CARLO, MONACO – Pirelli returned to the renowned Monte Carlo Rally this weekend and ultimately celebrated a first place finish with partner Ford and driver Mikko Hirvonen following a successful debut of the fast Ford Fiesta Super 2000. Hirvonen piloted the only car officially fitted by Pirelli in the event. Leading from the start, the Finnish rally star easily overcame the challenges of changing road conditions in his Ford Fiesta Super 2000 thanks to Pirelli’s Winter Sottozero and P Zero tires which, with their versatility and reliability, adapted to all the different conditions, from the ice in the mountain passes to the dry coastal asphalt.

Hirvonen_Monte_Carlo_Fiesta_2000_012310

The winning Hirvonen-Ford-Pirelli trio relied on its considerable expertise in rallying to win the event. Experience doubtlessly earned from its World Rally Championship (WRC) experience, where Milan-based Pirelli has been sole supplier of tires since 2008.

Finnish-born Hirvonen – the 2009 World WRC Vice-Champion – completed the rally with an overall time of 4h32’58″5, outpacing the Skoda Fabias of his compatriot Juho Hanninen and Frenchman Nicolas Vouilloz, respectively 1’51’’4 and 3’19’’1 behind.

“It was a special return for Pirelli to Monte Carlo”, said Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s Motorsport Director. “We had only one official entry for the event, but that proved sufficient as it was the winning combination of the debuting Ford Fiesta S2000 together with Ford official works driver Mikko Hirvonen. Our P Zero and Sottozero tires performed perfectly in the cold, snow and ice conditions of this classic Monte Carlo event. Of course we were also competing against rival tire manufacturers, but our product technology proved superior with Mikko barely troubled, in the lead from start to finish. We now turn our attention to the first WRC event of the season, in Sweden, where as the official supplier, we will again demonstrate the superior Arctic performance of the Pirelli Sottozero”.

Pirelli Tire North America designs, develops, manufactures and markets tires for passenger vehicles in both the original equipment and replacement markets as well as markets and distributes tires for motorcycles and motorsports. Located in Rome, Georgia, Pirelli’s Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) employs state-of-the-art technology to manufacture tires for both export and domestic markets. For more information please visit www.us.pirelli.com.