Pirelli's new Soft Compound Scorpion Tyres to make their debut in Finland

After a six-week pause, the FIA World Rally Championship resumes with one of its classic events: Rally Finland. The rapid gravel stages around Jyvaskyla will mark the debut of the new soft-compound Pirelli Scorpion tyres, which will also be used in Japan and Great Britain.

Milan, 25 July 2008- More than one month after the Rally of Turkey, the FIA World Rally Championship gets back into gear with Rally Finland, the ninth round of the season.

Formerly called the '1000 Lakes', Rally Finland is one of the classic events of the series, and it will also provide the backdrop to the debut of the new soft-compound Pirelli Scorpion tyres. These tyres will be used in Finland and also in Japan and Wales: the scene of the final rally of the 2008 season in December.

Rally Finland is characterized by a compact gravel surface, which allows the competitors to attain high average speeds throughout the event.

Another feature of this rally are the famous rollercoaster crests, which launch the cars into the air.

The high speeds and the heavy impacts with the ground on landing after each crest constitute the biggest difficulties that the new soft-compound Scorpions will have to face.

By way of compensation, tyre wear is less of an issue and there is only a small risk of punctures caused by hitting rocks or holes in the road.

Mario Isola, Pirelli's Rally Manager, points out: "The soft-compound Scorpion tyres have been tested at length on quite a wide variety of surfaces, both by ourselves at Pirelli and by the teams individually. On every occasion, they have demonstrated some useful versatility and plenty of performance. Compared to the rallies we have had in Sardinia, Greece and Turkey, the technical challenge facing the construction of the Scorpion tyres will be to withstand the considerable forces imposed by the high average speeds and the impacts with the ground after every crest.

By the same token - given the results of our test and development programme, as well as the comparatively gentle nature of the Finnish road surfaces - we should not have the same problems with wear and punctures that we experienced in Greece and Turkey."

July 2008

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