Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli impressed many with the performance of its tyres in tricky and demanding conditions during this year’s Rallye Monte Carlo. In their official report, they revealed some of the details concerning the pace Robert Kubica was able to reach when winning four special stages, including the 51,7 kilometer monster Lardier et Valenca – Faye, which ran as special stage 10.
From their press release:
Kubica’s four fastest times came on three different types of surface – ranging from ice to dry asphalt – using three different types of Pirelli tyres. The Pole was fastest on Sottozero tyres, with and without studs, as well as on the RKSS supersoft tyre – which he used to set his fastest time on the long SS10, underlining the durability of the tyre as well as the pure performance.
This tyre has a special compound designed to find grip even in the coldest and most slippery conditions, using some of the same technology seen in Pirelli’s Ultra High Performance road car product. The latest range of P Zero Trofeo tyres, which are road-legal tyres primarily designed for track days, have been evolved from the RK used in world championship rallying.
“I actually didn’t think I was going that quickly,” said Kubica, after setting fastest time on the stage. “I knew that our choice of tyre was good, but there was very little grip from the road. Still, we carried on and I was quite surprised to see the time. A big thank you to Pirelli for doing such a good job on one of the hardest rallies for tyres on the championship.”
Pirelli senior tyre engineer Matteo Braga said: “All our drivers were able to adapt themselves well to the varying conditions and information from the safety crews, consistently finding the best performance from the tyres in a wide range of weather and surfaces. What Robert managed to do was exceptional, especially during Saturday when he showed speed and consistency on the longest and most challenging stage of the rally, demonstrating a performance advantage that nobody else could match. Robert took on a new challenge this year in running with his own team and a private car, quickly getting up to speed with a tyre product that he had only sampled for the first time a week ago, during testing. He made a very big impression.”