Pirelli testing new hard compound tire with Rovanperä

The tire firm is allowed three development tests throughout the year, and Toyota has been randomly selected in Croatia


World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanperä is testing a new hard compound of Pirelli tire today (Thursday) in Croatia as the WRC’s exclusive tire supplier bids to improve its asphalt offering for the new hybrid Rally1 cars.

According to FIA regulations, Pirelli is permitted to run three development tests for a maximum of three days throughout the season – one with each team.

Toyota was randomly selected for the first session, and it elected to use Rovanperä who did his own pre-event test for Toyota on Wednesday.

Rovanperä is expected to drive his GR Yaris Rally1 for around 200 kilometers (124 miles).


“The objective of the test in Croatia is to check how to evolve the hard tire in line with the development of the new hybrid cars, which are heavier and more powerful than the previous generation, and so potentially more demanding on tires,” said Pirelli rally activity manager Terenzio Testoni.

“To understand this we will be testing the new tires with the help of Toyota’s engineers and of course Kalle, who has already shown himself to be an excellent test driver in the past.”

Pirelli took over the supply deal for the WRC in 2021 and has occasionally come under fire from drivers for being a little bit too brittle.

But speaking to DirtFish last month, Toyota technical director Tom Fowler said that the rubber is now at a level where “we can fight for the rallies with driving” and not worrying about potential punctures.

“I think there’s only the soft and super-soft P Zeros which should be on Pirelli’s radar for durability improvements,” Fowler added.

“We have a tire which is on a good level to make a proper rally and that’s all we want.”

M-Sport Ford and Hyundai will be utilized for tire test sessions later in the season, but when those will happen and which surface it will be on is yet to be confirmed.