How Pirelli is helping Rally Japan improve its show

It has been working with the organizer to select roads that will help promote sideways action

Takamoto Katsuta

Sending cars sideways on asphalt has always been complicated if the weather’s not playing ball. It’s for that very reason that the Rally Japan organizer was deep in conversation with Pirelli in Portugal earlier this month.

The Toyota City-based event will run a new stage this year, with the road being resurfaced ahead of the mid-November date. Ahead of that process, the World Rally Championship’s sole tire supplier met to discuss the best possible surface to make the cars spectacular.

Armed with asphalt samples, the decision was taken with direction from Pirelli’s Terenzio Testoni.

“The organizers of the Japan Rally aim to have a spectacular race, with a particularly exciting show stage,” Testoni told DirtFish.

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“That is why, recognizing us as asphalt and road experts, they asked us which asphalt would best ensure the result to which they aspire.

“We asked them what exactly they expected and their wish is to have the cars sliding and going sideways. This is why we recommended to them the one that, of the two that they proposed to us, was the smoothest and least porous.

“It’s nice to see so much care in the preparation of a race and we were happy to give our contribution.”

Rally Japan closes out the 2023 season between November 16-19.

Words:David Evans