After the ice and snow of Sweden comes the heat and altitude of Mexico and a fresh challenge for Pirelli in the 2015 World Rally Championship.
Rally México, based around the city of Leon, is the first hot gravel event of the season and the first in the WRC since Rally Australia last September. It provides a tough test for the crews, with high altitudes testing their resilience. And with rocks and stones coating the demanding route, tyre performance remains a key factor.
Luckily the drivers can rely on Pirelli’s championship-winning technology and know-how to get the job done. The first choice 205/65-15 Pirelli Scorpion KH Reinforced hard compound and option 205/65-15 Pirelli Scorpion KS Reinforced soft compound tyres are both based on last year’s K product to make them even more stable and durable for the rally’s 21 stages and 395 competitive kilometres. With 40% of the route made up of special stages, it is a remarkably compact itinerary, which includes a 55.82-kilometre stage on Sunday that concludes the rally.
Leading Pirelli drivers in Mexico: Martin Prokop, Lorenzo Bertelli and Robert Kubica will represent Pirelli in the leading WRC1 class, with reigning WRC2 Production champion Max Rendina one of several contenders in the leading WRC support category. Top local driver Benito Guerra makes his return, 12 months after his last appearance in a World Rally Car.
21 Martin Prokop/Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) 23 Benito Guerra/Borja Rozada (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) 24 Robert Kubica/Maciej Szczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) 33 Max Rendina/Mario Pizzuti (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X) 37 Lorenzo Bertelli/Giovanni Bernacchini (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) 38 Yuriy Protasov/Pavlo Cherepin (Ford Fiesta RRC) 42 Valeriy Gorban/Volodymyr Korsia (MINI JCW S2000) 45 Gianluca Linari/Nicola Arena (Subaru Impreza WRX) 51 Simone Tempestini/Matteo Chiarcossi (Subaru Impreza WRX)
The tyres available and the rules: The WRC drivers are allowed 28 tyres for the whole rally under the latest regulations (four tyres per tyre change opportunity, plus four spares). They can choose from 24 of the first choice 205/65-15 KH reinforced and 16 of the 2015/65-15 KS reinforced.
Quotes: Matteo Braga, Pirelli senior tyre engineer: “Mexico provides a new challenge for the drivers and teams this year: intense heat and high altitude. It’s going to be very interesting to see the effect of the latest developments on our Reinforced K product, which is a brand new tyre this year specifically designed for greater stability and durability. In theory, this tyre should be particularly well suited to the long and abrasive stages of Mexico, so we are hoping that this will be able to make the difference. In Sweden, Robert Kubica put in one of the best performances of his rally career, so he is in a strong position to continue the momentum of the brilliant season that he has started, showcasing the qualities of our products alongside his own impressive talents.”