The Pirelli Scorpion K gravel tyres stood up to the fastest stages on the World Rally Championship on Rally Finland.
Although the stages around host city Jyväskylä are not as rough as those on many other WRC events, they are extremely fast; this year’s event was the quickest in WRC history, beating the previous record set in Finland in 2015.
Good grip and stability from the tyres are crucial, and at these speeds and on the many big jumps that make the Finnish stages so famous, the impacts can be significant. While some leading drivers lost crucial time to punctures, none of the Pirelli drivers suffered any tyre-related problems.
Unfortunately, most were denied strong finishes by other factors. Privateer Lorenzo Bertelli suffered a spectacular crash in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC that required a trip to hospital for him and co-driver Simone Scattolin, but both were soon released. Valeriy Gorban had only two-wheel drive on his Mini WRC for many stages on the first leg, but showed good progress thereafter.
ACI Team Italia junior drivers Fabio Andolfi and Damiano De Tommaso were delayed by a broken shock absorber and wheel rim on their respective Peugeot 208 R2s on Friday afternoon, but went on to share 12 consecutive fastest stage times in the RC4 class between them, against considerable opposition. Young Finnish driver Taisko Lario finished a fine second place in the class in another 208 R2.
The WRC drivers had the Scorpion KSB soft compound as the main tyre option, ideal for cooler temperatures and dry roads (or damp or wet conditions), with the Scorpion KHB hard compound ready for warm temperatures and dry roads.
Pirelli’s rally activity manager Terenzio Testoni commented: “Unfortunately, many of our drivers could not achieve the results they would have wanted to in Finland, but our Scorpion K gravel tyres withstood all that was thrown at them on the fastest stages in the WRC. With excellent performance in traction and braking, even on lower-grip surfaces, as well as good stability at high speed, they allowed the drivers to show good pace when the circumstances allowed and to learn lots about driving on this famous event.”
The next WRC round is Rally Germany on 19-21 August, the first of four consecutive events on asphalt.
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