Pirelli will take its snow tyre to the Rally Ireland, the opening round in the 2009 World Rally Championship, it was announced today.

The Monte Carlo Snow tyre will be offered to competitors as an option instead of 'normal' tarmac rubber.

"To deal with expected weather conditions during the event, which takes place from the January 29 to February 1, Pirelli are bringing three additional 40 foot trucks with the Snow tyre option," read a statement to the press posted on the Rally Ireland's official webstie.

Gordon Noble, Rally Ireland's clerk of the course, has welcomed the news.

"Many competitors at Wales Rally GB struggled for grip on the icy roads so it is great that we have this option in place for all entrants in Rally Ireland '09," he added.

"The conditions, as in 2007, will be testing for all the drivers but at all times safety must be to the fore. With these provisions in place we will get to see the best of what the world's top drivers have to offer."