As one of the most demanding and unpredictable events in the championship, the rally will see Pirelli aiming for a significant result in partnership with the works Subaru team.
The Impreza WRCs will be competing on Pirelli P Zero tyres once again this year and will be able to depend on a comprehensive and targeted development program with tyres matched to the specific conditions of each rally. Besides the factory Subarus of Solberg-Mills and Sarrazin-Prevot and the Impreza of the Subaru Rally Team Australia, to be driven by Atkinson-McNeal, the Pirelli technicians will also supply tyres and service to private and semi-private entrants.
The more or less simultaneous retirement of Mitsubishi and Peugeot from the sport at the end of last year has not brought a reduction in the Milan tyre manufacturer’s commitment to top flight rallying. P Zero tyres will be fitted to the cars of competitive crews, among them the Galli-Bernacchini Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX.
The many variables that have always characterised the Monte Carlo Rally – especially the weather conditions – can create an unending string of surprises. Even though it is an asphalt event, many of the rally’s special stages are made treacherous by alternating snow and ice – a matter that makes tyre selection and set-up difficult. For the first rally in the 2006 championship, Pirelli is to offer its teams three variations of the dry surface P Zero: RX, RE and WX.
The latter has been developed for exceptionally cold weather conditions and can be either partially or fully studded. The entire P Zero range uses the EMI anti-deflation system.
Over the last few weeks, we have worked hard to prepare revisions of the P Zero most suited to the 2006 Monte Carlo Rally, explains Pirelli Competizioni Rally manager Mario Isola. So we are ready for this first rally of the season and I am personally confident, because I believe a significant result could be within our crews’ reach.
The Monte Carlo Rally is the opening round in the world championship for cars derived from mass produced vehicles (Group N). The tyres selected for crews who compete on Pirelli will be a variant of the P Zero that has been further reinforced: the RS7, or the extensively tried and tested RS9.
It should be pointed out that the regulations do not permit Group N cars to use anti-deflation systems. In the case of rain or slush, crews competing on Pirelli P Zero will use the RE7, moving on to the WR7 for snowy conditions.