Pirelli and the BRC have agreed a deal for a further two years as tyre provider to the MSA British Rally Championship.
The tyre manufacturer has been providing control tyres to the series since 2007, with the previous agreement due for completion at the end of 2012. However, as part of its ongoing commitment to national-level motorsport, Pirelli has signed a deal with BRC organisers to ensure it is sole tyre provider until the end of 2014.
“Each of the six rallies have different surfaces and challenges that place a whole range of demands upon the tyre,” explains motorsport manager Carl Naylor, “This not only enables the drivers to learn a range of driving skills and techniques, but means that they have to learn tyre control and strategy; an important part of being a world-class rally driver.
“We have provided the Pirelli Scorpion K6 gravel tyre and K4 tarmac tyre to the series for a number of years now and drivers have found them to be extremely durable and reliable while offering them the grip required of these demanding rally stages. We're really pleased to be able to commit to the BRC for a further two years and believe that with all the changes being made this year, it's going to be a very exciting series to be involved in. This deal also takes in the Pirelli Star Driver programme for 2013 and 2014.”
This year, the BRC has decided to make the series for two-wheel-drive cars only, making the sport more accessible to drivers with smaller budgets and to entice manufacturer involvement.
“In this current global environment, it's fantastic that we have secured this three-year deal with Pirelli which also includes the coveted Star Driver competition," championship manager Mark Taylor commented, "This agreement is a real testament, it shows Pirelli has confidence in the future direction of the championship and we are delighted to extend our partnership which is now in its eleventh year.”
As well as providing tyres to the series, Pirelli gives one young driver a fully paid season in the series. This year, 27-year old Finn Jukka Korhonen won the shoot-out and will contest the BRC as the Pirelli Star Driver in a Skoda Fabia R2.
This year also marks the 21st anniversary of Pirelli sponsoring the Cumbrian round of the championship, which is based near the tyre manufacturer's main UK plant in Carlisle and takes in stages of the Kielder Forest.