Pirelli issues robust defense of tire issues

Rally activity manager Terenzio Testoni said tire pressures that were too low were a factor


Pirelli has offered a robust defense of the tire issues which affected three cars through Saturday afternoon’s Rally Sweden stages.

Pirelli’s rally activity manager Terenzio Testoni told DirtFish some of the delaminations and punctures which Hyundai’s Esapekka Lappi and Craig Breen suffered along with M-Sport Ford’s rally leader Ott Tänak were the result of running tire pressures too low.

Testoni said: “In regard to the episodes that took place today, after our investigations we understand that there were, in some cases, tire pressures that were much lower at the finish than we recommend at the start.

“We have never seen tire pressures that low until today.”

Testoni pointed to the warming roads and the arrival of gravel as another issue, adding: “It must also be said that, in the afternoon, the road conditions were completely different to the pure winter conditions in the morning – with a lot of exposed gravel and a rough surface, unsuitable for studded tyres.

“This situation was the cause of the slow puncture suffered by Tänak on SS14 ,just three kilometers after the start.”

He also poured cold water on speculation that the prolonged, high-speed nature of the roads might have been a contributing factor.

“Speeds, on the other hand, has no relevance,” he said.

“If it [did] have [relevance], there would have been problems even this morning. On the contrary, we are witnessing very high and above-average speed peaks.”

Words:David Evans