Hankook set to test asphalt Rally1 rubber

WRC's 2025 tire supplier will test tires on cars supplied by Hyundai, Toyota and M-Sport this week


Hankook will real-time test its asphalt-specification tires in Croatia for the first time this week.

The Seoul-based firm ran its i*pike snow tire during the teams’ preparations for Rally Sweden in February, but this will be the first time the cars have run Hankooks on Tarmac during pre-event testing conditions.

Hankook was confirmed as the WRC’s new control tire supplier in December last year.

Elfyn Evans will test the new tire aboard his Toyota GR Yaris Rally1, while Andreas Mikkelsen takes on the role for Hyundai and Grégoire Munster for M-Sport. To ensure parity among the drivers not tire testing for the 2025 season, the FIA oversees each day’s running.

“We only test the tires,” Mikkelsen explained to DirtFish. “We’re not allowed to touch the car set-up or do anything in preparation for the rally next week. It’s just about the tires.”


Mikkelsen will be Hyundai's Hankook tester, having been heavily involved in Pirelli's Rally1 testing

Mikkelsen is, of course, well-versed in tire testing, having conducted the vast majority of Pirelli’s running in preparation for the hybrid-powered Rally1 generation of cars.

“I’m sad we lost Pirelli from the WRC,” said Mikkelsen. “OK, it’s interesting to have a new partner and it’s nice working with Hankook – I did this before when John [Archer, Hankook} and I were working together in IRC back in 2010 – but it would have been nice to see Pirelli carry on.”

Initial feedback from the Sweden test reported a durable tire which was slightly down on the performance from Pirelli. One observation was that the more closed-nature of the tread pattern on the i*pike would make it more difficult for the tire to sweep away loose snow.

Gravel tires intended for the team’s pre-Safari testing in Europe were stuck in customs. That gravel test is expected to be shifted to pre-Portugal running later this month.

DirtFish has contacted Hankook for comment on its 2025 World Rally Championship preparations.