Premium tyre specialist Pirelli is pleased to announce that it is the new control tyre supplier to the MINI Challenge.
The series, now in its 11th year, is growing rapidly and, as well as playing host to many seasoned privateers, has become widely recognised as a training ground for touring car drivers of the future. In order to become sole tyre provider to the series, Pirelli has carefully selected three products from its motorsport development centre, which will be used in the two classes within the Challenge; The John Cooper Works (JCW) and the Club Class.‘Changing tyre supply is a major step for any race series, and the decision was not taken lightly. We were impressed with the amount of technical input available from Pirelli, no doubt filtering down from their rally and F1 knowledge base’ explained Paul Harvey MD of series promoter Total Track.
To offer drivers ultimate grip and handling, the MINI Challenge asked Pirelli to provide the JCW class with both slick and wet options and the Club class with an intermediate tyre that is suitable across a range of conditions.
“For the JCW cars we will provide a 225/625-17 DH Slick and 225/625-17 WS Wet tyre,” explains Carl Naylor, motorsport manager at Pirelli UK. “We tested the slick tyres and were immediately very happy with the performance and durability. As for the Club class we have selected an intermediate tyre with a hard compound ideal for the grip and speed required to compete in the series and suitable for all weather conditions.”
To celebrate the new partnership, the JCW MINI, donning its newly fitted Pirelli tyres, was unveiled on the Pirelli stand at the Autosport International show, alongside the new Skoda Fabia R2 which the 2012 Pirelli Star Driver, Jukka Korhonen, will use on this year’s British Rally Championship. Also on display were a range of Pirelli’s P Zero Formula One, GP2 and GP3 tyres.
“At Pirelli, we have been developing race and rally tyres for more than 100 years, “ continues Carl Naylor. “Thanks to our continued involvement with racing in the UK, we have extensive knowledge of each of the locations used in the MINI Challenge. This means we understand the nature of the tracks and the demands placed on the tyres.”
‘The MINI Challenge is also looking forward to working with the Pirelli promotional team, who have some great ideas to maximise the benefits of this partnership. After all MINI and Pirelli represent two of the great motor racing brands’ said HarveyThe 2012 MINI Challenge comprises of 20 races at seven events starting at Silverstone on 14th April before visiting Castle Combe, Brands Hatch Indy, Snetterton, Oulton Park, Brands Hatch GP and finishing the season at Donington Park on the 6-7 October.