Pirelli Triumphs On One Of The Longest Rallies In EuropeE

Irish driver Marty McCormack has won the R.A.C. Rally – one of the longest events in Europe with 33 stages over five days – on Pirelli tyres.

McCormack won the renowned historic event for the third time, at the wheel of a Ford Escort co-driven by Barney Mitchell. Also taking part in the rally, designed as a tribute to the classic RAC Rally that previously formed part of the World Rally Championship, were a number of stars from the modern WRC including Oliver Solberg: the son of Pirelli’s 2003 World Rally Champion.

Solberg, driving another Ford Escort equipped with Pirelli tyres, led the event until Monday, before he got caught out on a particularly muddy section.

McCormack, aged 38, has a long history with Pirelli on a variety of championships, including the WRC, European Rally Championship, Intercontinental Rally Championship, British Rally Championship and a number of historic events.

Cathan McCourt and Jason Pritchard made it an all-Pirelli (as well as an all-Escort) podium, after the Pirelli-equipped Lancia Stratos of Seb Perez retired from second on the final 62-kilometre stage. The drivers had at their disposal the Pirelli Scorpion GM6 soft compound, as well as the GM8 supersoft, to deal with the cool and muddy conditions. Specifically designed for classic rally cars, this tyre features a tread pattern that benefits from modern technology to optimise the dispersal of dirt and stones, as well as compounds that maximise grip even in extreme conditions.

Pirelli rally activity manager Terenzio Testoni commented: “The R.A.C. Rally is probably the toughest event that our historic rally tyres for gravel are subjected to, with incredibly long stages over a marathon five days all over the UK, featuring all the different surfaces and conditions that this entails. The list of competitors was just as mixed, with iconic cars ranging from the Lancia Stratos to the Triumph TR7 and Porsche 911, not to mention the Ford Escort, which, along with Pirelli, made up the bulk of the 174-car entry. This just demonstrates the confidence and trust in which our historic rally tyres are held, contributing to a fantastic event that culminated a true fight to the finish, despite a total distance of nearly 2000 kilometres.”

Photo with kind permission of Gary Jones

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