Just days after the conclusion of the 2020 World Rally Championship season, Toyota and Hyundai have made their way through the Alps from Italy to France to begin testing for 2021 this week.
Pirelli is in Gap on Tuesday distributing its 2021 specification tires to the teams to allow them to start running the new rubber for the first time ahead of next month’s season opener in Monte Carlo.
DirtFish understands Hyundai will start its running with Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville on Wednesday with Toyota running in 2021 trim two days later.
One source told DirtFish: “Logistically this makes sense, when you consider how close Monza is to Gap.
“Of course, it’s complicated for some of the teams because you cannot have people mixing their [coronavirus-safe] bubbles, so some team members have to return home to quarantine and some test team members have to come in their place.
“The plan is for Pirelli to be close and on hand for this week while the teams are running the tires for the first time.”
Pirelli conducted cold weather asphalt tire testing earlier this year, but this will be the first time the teams have tried the Italian rubber on their cars.
M-Sport will not take part in the test. Team principal Richard Millener told DirtFish the priority was to firm up its driver line-up plans for next season before starting to test the Ford Fiesta WRC.