Dakar: Pirelli preview

Milan, 15 December 2004 - Racing Italy on the attack at the 2005 Dakar. In probably the most spectacular and suggestive category: *truck*. Pirelli is back competing in the world's most famous motor sport marathon: almost 10,000 kilometres of...

Milan, 15 December 2004 - Racing Italy on the attack at the 2005 Dakar. In probably the most spectacular and suggestive category: *truck*. Pirelli is back competing in the world's most famous motor sport marathon: almost 10,000 kilometres of unmade tracks and desert in an environment that has always been hostile, all the way to that celebrated beach in Senegal.

Pirelli has joined forces with a top class partner of great motor sport tradition for its return to the African race: Iveco, which will compete with the Motorsport Italia team. An all-Italian operation, writing another chapter in a long and successful story, which has linked the Pirelli brand and the Fiat Group in racing for decades.

Drivers of the Pirelli-shod Iveco Eurocargos, which have long been part of commercial vehicle transport's and marathon rallying's history, will be two men who occupy a special place in the hearts of the Italians: double world rally champion Massimo "Miki" Biasion and Markku Alen, who holds a Finnish passport but is Italian by association, having competed in and won world championship rallies for many years at the wheel of Fiats and Lancias, almost always on Pirelli tyres.

As well as having won two world rally championships with the Lancia Delta Integrale at the end of the Eighties, Miki Biasion is also a double World Tout Terrain champion, having won those titles with an Iveco Eurocargo in 1998 and 1999. His co-driver/navigator will be Giorgio Albiero.

Markku Alen is one of the top rally drivers of all time, with successes in Fiats and Lancias to his credit on the special stages of the world. Completing the two Iveco-Pirelli line-up - each vehicle will carry a three man crew - will be Livio Diamante, a Dakar veteran, and Toni Guido, who has competed in the event nine times.

The two Iveco Eurocargo 140E24 WS trucks will be fitted with Pirelli PS 22 Pista tyres of normal production and in size 14.00 R 20. Tyres able to deliver extremely high performance and a maximum guarantee of resistance and reliability, as they have already shown in a recent test session in Tunisia. The Pirelli PS 22 Pista, in particular, demonstrated an excellent "floating" ability at extremely low pressures in harsh environments on sand and an undaunted resistance to tears and cuts: so an optimum choice with which to take on an event like the Dakar.

Pirelli will also compete in the 2005 Dakar with two private Spanish teams, which have chosen to race on its tyres: they are the PROmotor-Les Comes and Tibau squads.

The Dakar will start from Barcelona on 1 January 2005. The route will take competitors through Spain and on board ship bound for Morocco for the first of the African special stages. After that comes Mauritania, a number of stages in the Sahara Desert, then the forests of Mali and on to Senegal for the finish on 16 January 2005 by Dakar's celebrated pink lake.

-pirelli-

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Series DAKAR