Pirelli Rally Australia preview‏

BERTELLI TO RESUME WRC 2 TITLE BID WITH PIRELLI IN AUSTRALIA

Pirelli-supported Lorenzo Bertelli will resume his pursuit of the coveted WRC2 title when the championship heads Down Under this week for Rally Australia (September 11-14).

The rising Italian star, who competes in a Ford Fiesta Regional Rally Car, is three points clear of rival Ott Tanak ahead of the gravel event getting underway with the first of 20 stages on Friday morning. However, while Tanak has one scoring opportunity remaining, Bertelli has two more rallies available to chase WRC2 points.

Featuring 315.30 competitive kilometres, Rally Australia is based in the town of Coffs Harbour, a one-hour flight north of Sydney. The stages use mainly public shire roads with a hard gravel base. While high speeds are commonplace, there are tight and twisty sections to add to the challenge.

Pirelli drivers in Australia In addition to Lorenzo Bertelli, Pirelli’s driver line-up for Rally Australia includes another Italian, Max Rendina, currently 11 points ahead in the WRC 2 Production category in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X. Fabio Frisiero drives another Mitsubishi, along with local man Martin Grigg.

The Pirelli crews contesting Rally Australia are:

33 Max Rendina/Mario Pizzuti (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) 
 37 Lorenzo Bertelli/Mitia Dotta (Ford Fiesta R5) 73 Fabio Frisiero/Simone Scattolin (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) 78 Martin Grigg/Rachel Messer (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X)

The tyres available For Rally Australia, Pirelli is bringing the Scorpion K4 reinforced tyre as first choice with the reinforced K8 available as the alternative choice in case of wet and cold conditions. The reinforced K tyre is a well-known tread pattern but uses a new construction and compound designed to provide performance and durability within the confines of the WRC regulations. Pirelli has sought the approval of the FIA, the sport’s rule-maker, to nominate the replacement K tyre for Rally Australia and the season-closing Rally GB, which is permitted under the WRC rules.

The rules Drivers can use a maximum of 24 tyres plus four for shakedown during the 26-stage event. A total of 28 K4 tyres are supplied to each crew with 16 of the K8 option also available.

Quotes Matteo Braga, Pirelli senior tyre engineer: “Rally Australia is a fast and flowing event that can feature high ambient temperatures: because of this it provides a tough challenge for the tyres. Obtaining good grip during the first passage through the stages is particularly crucial, as there is often plenty of loose gravel on the surface. This makes it essential to have a pattern that is very good at cleaning the road and finding solid grip underneath. Bertelli still leads the WRC2 championship despite not nominating the previous round in Germany to score points, and our aim is to help him to retain the leadership after Rally Australia.”