M-Sport requires heavier rain tires for the modern WRC Rally1 era

(Motorsport-Total.com) – Tires, especially wet tires, were a big topic in the third round of the World Rally Championship (WRC). At Rally Croatia last weekend, there were five of eleven Rally1 cars in Friday’s scene alone, where one or more of Pirelli’s rain tires broke.

Pirelli WRC wet tires caused numerous problems in Croatia


The problems were exacerbated by the conditions. Because the asphalt on the slopes of Rally Croatia is made in such a way that gravel and clay penetrate to the surface through multiple cuts. It was also the first time that rain tires were used on Rally1 cars in a competition.

Among those in trouble were eventual race winner Kalle Rovanperä and his Toyota teammates Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta. Evans missed his chance to get on the podium with two drills on Friday. Hyundai driver Ott Tänak also suffered a flat tire.

But the Ford M-Sport team was the most affected. Pierre-Louis Loubet was hit by three drills in two special stages, which eventually meant the end of the rally for him. Teammate Gus Greensmith even had four holes drilled to complain about the tires for wet conditions.

Rally Croatia 2022: Turbulent start

In wet conditions, some drivers lost their way in the Croatian Rally on Friday morning. More videos for the rally

M-Sport team chief Richard Millener suggests that WRC tire supplier Pirelli should provide a stronger tire composition for wet conditions. “It’s something we as a championship need to look at relatively quickly,” Millener told our English-language sister platform, Motorsport.com.

“I want a stronger tire,” Millener said, noting: “We rarely use wet tires. Before this rally we knew it would be wet. We looked around to see where we could get some “Important data. I think so though, we have not used this tire for several years.”

M-Sport: There are no charges against Pirelli, but …

“If you have a tire that you only use once in a few years, then you do not invest a lot of money and effort into it. This is completely understandable,” the M-Sport team boss Pirelli defended, but also said: indicates the point that we are using these [Rally1]cars and see what we can do in these conditions. “

Richard Miller

Richard Millener suggests discussing the topic of rain tires together zoom

And so Millener asks: “Even if nothing happens, we have to discuss this topic because it’s just not fair with the pilots and crews. We spend a lot of money to be as competitive as possible. If you make a real mistake “That’s okay. But when so many people are affected, I think we need to work together.”

“We have to sit down after the rally, give our comments and see what we can do. It’s not a blow to Pirelli at all. The last thing they want is a situation like this, but we still have to resolve it,” he said. ai tha ai. said the head of the M-Sport team.

Pirelli reacts calmly

The first reaction from Pirelli is already available. “If you look at what [am Freitag] it happened, so I do not think it was unusual, “Terenzio Testoni, Rally Pirelli’s Activity Manager, told Motorsport.com.

“There were eight Rally1 cars with punctured tires. But in three cases the rim was completely broken. So for me there were five drills. And with five drills in one day I can not say it would be cause for great panic.”

Tire change: Elfyn Evans, Toyota Gazoo Racing, Toyota Yaris Rally1

Five drills (according to Pirelli) in one day: no reason to panic Pirelli zoom

“It was the first time in two years that the teams had used the tire specifications for completely wet conditions,” Teston confirms Millener’s assumption, noting that these tires were used in Rally1 cars for the first time.

“Of course you have to gain experience first. What we do know is that when the grip level is very low and the visibility is very poor, walk everywhere except the road. This is exactly what happened to this tire,” Testoni explains. classifies: “I would panic if we had about 20 drills”.

Asked if the Pirelli rain tire for Rally1 cars used since the start of the 2022 season has been reinforced, Test answers: “Not yet, for two reasons: The tire is used for five percent of the season. Based on the experience we have in national races and European, this tire is very strong. “

“Conditions [am Freitag] were really bad. We are now gathering information from the teams, but we are not in a panic. “We are always trying to find new technologies for tires, whether they are wet or dry,” said Testoni.

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