12 March 2014
Rally Mexico: WRC2 podium double for Pirelli
Pirelli encouraged by WRC2 form on Rally Mexico, the third round in the 2014 World Rally Championship.
Pirelli put two cars on the WRC2 podium last weekend on its return to the World Rally Championship with the all-new Scorpion gravel tyre.
Pirelli is back in the WRC this season after a three-year absence, supplying tyres on a customer basis to privateers and thanks to Henning Solberg has already had one fastest stage time overall, achieved last month in Sweden.
In Mexico, Pirelli customers were competing in the WRC2 rather than the top class and two of them ended up on the rostrum, with Lorenzo Bertelli finishing second in WRC2 – and 13th overall - in his Ford Fiesta RRC, just ahead of Max Rendina, third in WRC2, and 14th overall with a Mitsubishi Lancer.
Both drivers keep up their podium record with Pirelli this year, having also achieved top-three places in their class in Monte Carlo. Rendina also won the Group N Cup for the second time in a row, on only his second WRC outing outside Italy.
Meanwhile, the highest-placed Pirelli runner overall on the event was local man Ricardo Cordero, who was twelfth in a Mitsubishi Lancer.
Pirelli's senior tyre engineer Matteo Braga said: “Mexico proved to be one of the toughest events of the year, as the attrition at the front of the field showed. Unlike Sweden we didn't have any drivers running in the top class, but we still managed to show the qualities of our new XR product, which contains some sophisticated new materials following a complete redesign, in the WRC2 class.
“We placed two cars on the podium, with both drivers showing front-running pace in the category, despite the unfamiliar conditions against strong local experts. Our XR tyre proved to be very resistant, with little degradation even in the very long stages such as the 55 kilometres of Guanajuatito: one of the toughest tests of the year.
“Levels of wear were also very contained, which allowed the drivers to show a strong performance in all conditions, however rough. So, on only the third event of our WRC return, this is very encouraging for the future,” Braga summed-up.
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