Pirelli stars ready to show their pace in Sweden

Drivers will face more than 300 competitive kilometres, over 21 special stages.

Pirelli stars ready to show their pace in Sweden
Robert Kubica and Maciek Szczepaniak, Ford Fiesta WRC
Robert Kubica and Maciek Szczepaniak, Ford Fiesta WRC
Robert Kubica and Maciek Szczepaniak, Ford Fiesta WRC
Robert Kubica
Robert Kubica and Maciek Szczepaniak, Ford Fiesta WRC
Martin Prokop and Jan Tomanek, Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Martin Prokop
Martin Prokop and Jan Tomanek, Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Martin Prokop and Jan Tomanek, Ford Fiesta RS WRC

Milan – Rally Sweden, based in Karlstad this weekend, is round two of the World Rally Championship and one of the toughest tests of the year for any tyre.

In order to tackle the specialised stages, which consist of layers of snow and ice on top of fast gravel tracks, drivers will rely on specially studded tyres that bite into the loose surface to generate grip.

In total there are 384 studs with Tungsten tips, protruding seven millimetres, which are locked into the tyre (preventing stud loss) in a unique vulcanisation process patented by Pirelli. The tyre comes in 205/65-15 size, so that it can be mounted on the same rim as used for gravel tyres: a compromise between the traditional narrow shape of a snow tyre and the dimensions of the gravel rim. Drivers will face more than 300 competitive kilometres, over 21 special stages.

This brings the Sottozero Ice even closer to Pirelli’s road car tyres, which all benefit from the lessons learned in competition. Unlike Pirelli’s other competition tyres, the Sottozero Ice has to cope with temperatures that often drop as low as minus 30 degrees centigrade.

Leading Pirelli drivers in Sweden

Pirelli is represented in all the classes, with highlights of the entry including Robert Kubica – the star of the Monte Carlo Rally – and Pirelli’s reigning WRC2 Production champion Max Rendina:

16 Robert Kubica/Maciek Szczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
17 Yuri Protasov/Pavlo Cherepin (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
18 Michal Solowow/Maciek Baran (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
21 Martin Prokop/Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
33 Max Rendina/Mario Pizutti (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10)
37 Lorenzo Bertelli/Giovanni Bernacchini (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
38 Anders Grondal/Roger Eilertsen (Citroen DS3 R5)
41 Valeriy Gorban/Volodymyr Korsia (MINI John Cooper Works S2000)
42 Oleksii Kikireshko/Kuldar Sikk (MINI John Cooper Works S2000)
44 Jaroslav Koltun/Ireneusz Pleskot (Ford Fiesta R5)
45 Gianluca Linari/Nicola Arena (Subaru Impreza)
81 Simone Tempestini/Matteo Chiarcossi (Subaru Impreza)
85 Joan Font/Oriol Julia (Mitsubishi Lancer)

The tyres available and the rules

The WRC and WRC2 drivers are allowed 28 tyres for the whole rally under the latest regulations. Only one type of tyre is allowed for Sweden. Pirelli will bring the studded Sottozero Ice tyre, specially developed for the snow and ice conditions. Rally Sweden is the only outing for this tyre all year.

Quotes

Matteo Braga, Pirelli senior tyre engineer: “After an exciting start to the season in Monte Carlo, where Robert Kubica put in a stunning performance to win four stages, 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. As always, there is the risk of warm weather making driving conditions difficult, due to a lack of snow, but even in these conditions the Sottozero Ice has proved to be very effective, as we have seen already.”

Pirelli

shares
comments
Mikkelsen takes lead in Sweden after Ogier and Latvala crash

Previous article

Mikkelsen takes lead in Sweden after Ogier and Latvala crash

Next article

Strong start for the Hyundai Motorsport trio in Rally Sweden’s winter wonderland

Strong start for the Hyundai Motorsport trio in Rally Sweden’s winter wonderland
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant? Prime

Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains Prime

How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Prime

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Prime

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Prime

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
Home hero Neuville delivers overdue WRC success for Hyundai in Belgium Prime

Home hero Neuville delivers overdue WRC success for Hyundai in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Prime

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Prime

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021