Michelin's PILOT Sport R asphalt tyre has been praised after Freddy Loix claimed a debut victory with the new tyre on last week's Geko Ypres Rally, round six of the FIA European Rally Championship.

The tyre, which is available in four different compound options, benefits from a unique, asymmetrical tread pattern that has been designed to perform in the wet and dry.

"On day one it was clear how good this tyre was if I see the speed we did in the bad conditions," Loix said. "We have to get used to the tyre a bit because it's something new. But after the first real stage in the rain I was confident and happy with it. They did a fantastic job MICHELIN as we proved with a fantastic result and the times we did in the rain."

The Geko Ypres Rally marked the first ERC event where new regulations were in force to limit the use of tyres to 20 (plus four for Free Practice and Qualifying) for a single rally. Tyre cutting is now also outlawed unless permitted by the event stewards in exceptional circumstances.

However, tyre firms Kumho, Pirelli and Yokohama have been granted waivers until 1 October to produce tyres conforming to the new regulations.