Paolo Andreucci, who claimed victory on the recent Targa Florio, will lead the Pirelli entry for the next round of the Italian Rally Championship this weekend: the Rally Italia Sardegna.

Andreucci, co-driven as usual by Anna Andreussi, will compete in his new Peugeot Italia 208 T16 R5 car on the demanding gravel roads of Sardinia, equipped with Pirelli tyres.

Meanwhile Pirelli’s leader of the FIA European Historic Rally Championship, Massimo Pedretti, will make his debut in modern machinery: swapping a Lancia Rally 037 for a Peugeot 207 S2000 for the first time.

The Italian Rally Championship competitors follow directly behind the Rally d’Italia World Championship event from Thursday 5 June to Saturday 7 June. This poses an extra challenge for the Italian championship crews, as they will compete on roads that have been affected by the passage of all the World Rally Championship competitors.

Andreucci, Peugeot and Pirelli have triumphed on asphalt:
now the series turns to gravel

Sardinian stages are generally characterised by soft and sandy gravel, which clean rapidly to reveal some sharp rocks and stones. This makes repeated runs through the stages particularly treacherous and a big test for Pirelli’s renowned Scorpion tyres, which Andreucci along with the other Pirelli runners will use. Pirelli though has an excellent record in marginal conditions, which will be an especially important factor this year as the roads are expected to be very rough.

The rally covers a competitive distance of 140.42 kilometres over 11 stages for the Italia championship crews. It gets underway at 21:06 on Thursday 5 June with an all-asphalt spectator superspecial in Cagliari, and finishes at 14:30 in Alghero on Saturday 7 June.

Pirelli drivers in Sicily

The leading Pirelli runners on Rally Targa Florio include:

Paolo Andreucci/Anna Andreussi (Peugeot 208 T16)
Andrea Nucita/Giuseppe Princiotto (Peugeot 207 S2000)
Stefano Albertini/Silvia Mazzetti (Peugeot 208 R2)
Fabio Gianfico/Liberato Mongillo (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX)
Renato Travaglia/Giacomo Ciucci (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX)
Pablo Biolghini/Giuseppe Morina (Skoda Fabia S2000)
Massimo Pedretti/Emanuele Baldaccini (Peugeot 207 S2000)

The tyres available

For clean roads with a hard base, the ultra-durable Scorpion XR5 tyre will be used. This tyre has the advantage of providing a high degree of precision, which is especially necessary in Sardinia, as the drivers will need to stay in the ruts that have been formed by the World Rally Cars in front. It is also very good on the long stages, thanks to its excellent durability. Pirelli will also bring the K4 reinforced tyre for loose and sandy surfaces. Good weather is expected throughout the event, so the softer-compound K6, for cooler conditions, is less likely to be used. Although the Thursday night superspecial is all-asphalt, the cars will use gravel tyres on the three-kilometre test: most likely the K4.

Quotes
Paolo Andreucci, Pirelli driver: “We’re feeling confident after winning the Targa Florio, but of course the Rally d’Italia will be a completely different type of challenge, on gravel. The car is still very new and there is a lot of potential yet to be unlocked, but we have a very good knowledge of the Pirelli tyre range that we are using, which has proved its strengths in the past. The nature of the stages in Sardinia means that having a tyre that is durable but quick is one of the biggest keys to success: perhaps more than any other event. This is our toughest challenge of the year, but we have a very good record with Pirelli in Sardinia so I’m feeling confident.”

Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli product manager: “The Italian Rally Championship section of the Rally d’Italia is even harder than the World Championship event, providing a bigger test for the tyres as the competing cars have to follow in the tracks of the WRC entries, which frequently cause deep ruts and pull sharp stones out into the road. From a tyre perspective, it’s the most demanding event of the year on the Italian Rally Championship calendar. A strong tyre really makes the difference here, with puncture resistance being a key attribute. There are frequently warm ambient temperatures as well, which only adds to the work placed on the tyre. We carry out a lot of tyre testing in Sardinia, precisely because the conditions are so challenging. This year, due to the recent weather conditions, we are expecting the roads to be even rougher than usual, making puncture resistance a key factor.”

Ends

For more information about Pirelli, please contact Anthony Peacock on +44 7765 896 930 or anthony@mediaticaworld.com