Pirelli drivers contesting Rally Finland were able to gather useful data for the Italian tyre firm, which supplied its Scorpion K4 and K8 reinforced tyres for the high-speed gravel event.

Pirelli switched from its strong and durable Scorpion XR to the classic Scorpion K4 reinforced tyre as first choice with the reinforced K8 available as the alternative choice in case of damp and chilly conditions.

The reinforced K tyre is a well-known tread pattern but uses a new construction and compound designed to provide performance and a good level of durability within the confines of the WRC regulations.

Pirelli sought the approval of the FIA, the sport’s governing body, to nominate the replacement K tyre for Rally Finland, which is permitted under the WRC rules. The same tyre will be used on the season-closing Rally GB in November.

Nikara did not get the chance to fulfil his potential

Lorenzo Bertelli, Jarkko Nikara and Max Rendina were equipped with Pirelli tyres for the World Rally Championship qualifier. Although misfortune meant they were all unable to reach the finish, their feedback will prove invaluable for Pirelli’s ongoing tyre development programme.

Italian Bertelli and Finn Nikara, a former Pirelli Star Driver, both crashed early on, while a technical problem forced Rome-based Rendina to retire on Saturday’s penultimate leg.

Matteo Braga, Pirelli’s senior tyre engineer, said: “Our traditional K pattern tyre suited our drivers well. They were able to sample the soft compound K8 tyre on the rain-hit stages on Thursday and commented on the confidence it gave them in the challenging conditions. They then switched to the hard compound K4 tyre for the dry conditions, which provided the required level of performance and durability.

“It was frustrating that Jarkko Nikara retired so early because we were looking forward to working with a competitive driver in a very good World Rally Car. Lorenzo Bertelli was building his experience of this rally and got the opportunity to sample both the hard and soft compound tyre, which will help in the future. He was happy with the feeling they gave him and said he could push more in all the conditions, which proves the tread pattern works well in a variety of conditions. I was pleased with Max Rendina’s approach and he was unlucky not to finish.”

Bertelli did not nominate Rally Finland as one of his scoring rounds but continues to lead the WRC2 category, while Rendina remains on top in the WRC2 Production class.

The World Rally Championship resumes on the all-asphalt Rallye Deutschland in the historic city of Trier from August 21-24.

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