31 January 2014
Rally Sweden: Henning Solberg opts for Pirelli tyres
Henning Solberg: I'm really pleased to be on Pirelli and to start this new chapter.
Henning Solberg will use Pirelli tyres on Rally Sweden next week, the first time the company has equipped a World Rally Car with its rubber in the World Rally Championship since 2010.
Henning, who finished eighth in Sweden twelve months ago - his last outing in the WRC, will pilot a privately-entered Ford Fiesta RS WRC and he is hoping the decision to use Pirelli's Sottozero Ice tyre will give him an edge over the competition.
“I'm really pleased to be on Pirelli and to start this new chapter,” said Henning, who made his WRC debut in Sweden in 1998 and who has competed in Sweden numerous times over the years, his best result a fourth place back in 2007. “I have always had a fantastic feeling with Pirelli tyres. Like many drivers have said, they are very precise tyres that give you a lot of control and I hope they will give me an advantage in Sweden.
“In all my career I've never really been able to do any testing, but with a Pirelli tyre you can jump in the car and be fast straight away.
“I've not driven in a year so I'm a little bit rusty, but I think I have the best tyres here. I'm really looking forward to it,” added the 41-year-old.
Meanwhile, as well as Solberg, Pirelli will also support a variety of other customers, including several competitors in the feeder WRC2 category - namely Lorenzo Bertelli, who was second in WRC2 on his Monte Carlo debut in a Ford Fiesta R5, as well as Norwegian Anders Grondal (Subaru Impreza), Valeriy Gorban (Mini S2000), Jourdan Serderidis (Ford Fiesta R5) and Gianluca Linari (Subaru Impreza).
“Sweden is only the second rally of our return, with the focus this year being on customer competition, but it's one of the toughest ones that we face all year,” stated Pirelli's senior tyre engineer, Matteo Braga. “We also see our tyres on a World Rally Car for the first time, with the privately-run Ford of Henning Solberg."
“After a promising start in Monte Carlo, with a podium result in WRC2 and a win in the production category, we're hoping for more success in Sweden. The Sottozero Ice tyres have been developed specifically to offer complete control even on the most slippery surfaces, and thanks to our patented production process, the 380 studs remain in place over the entire length of the stage, giving the drivers better consistency of grip and therefore confidence,” Braga concluded.
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