Robert Kubica will lead the Pirelli-shod FIA World Rally Championship efforts as their lead driver for the 2015 season.
The Polish driver scored two non-WRC rally wins last year on the Italian rubber and will be joined on Pirelli tyres for the season by Martin Prokop and Lorenzo Bertelli who makes the move in to WRC from WRC2.
“Rallye Monte-Carlo is one of those iconic events in motorsport, right up there with the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans, or the Indy 500. So we can think of nowhere better to start the season and welcome Robert Kubica into our family, off the back of his double victory with Pirelli last year at the Monza Rally and Bettega Rallysprint.” said Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport director.
“Having returned to the World Rally Championship last year, a series that forms an important part of our history, we’re delighted to be able to offer our private customers competitive products that proved capable of winning stages against the factory teams last year.”
Pirelli drivers confirmed for Rallye Monte-Carlo from January 22-25 include:
16 Robert Kubica/Maciej Szczepaniak – Ford Fiesta RS WRC
21 Martin Prokop/Jan Tomanek – Ford Fiesta RS WRC
37 Lorenzo Bertelli/Giovanni Bernacchini – Ford Fiesta RS WRC
36 Julien Maurin/Nicolas Klinger – Ford Fiesta R5
41 Armin Kremer/Klaus Wicha – Skoda Fabia S2000
42 Henk Lategan/Barry White – Skoda Fabia S2000
25 Olivier Burri/Fabrice Goron – Ford Fiesta R5
26 Felice Re/Mara Bariani – Citroen DS3 R5
28 Marco Giuseppe Silva/Giovanni Pina – Ford Fiesta R5
Pirelli bring an evolved version of their RK and RKW tyres which made their debut on Rallye Deutschland last year. While the hard RK5A compound is unlikely to be used as it is suited more to dry conditions the RKW7 will be the tyre of choice for the cold and damp conditions. A supersoft RKSS will also be available to drivers which comes with and without studs.
“We start Rallye Monte-Carlo just a few weeks after our dominant 1-2-3 finish on the European championship Jannerrallye.” said Matteo Braga, Pirelli senior tyre engineer.
“While the weather conditions were very consistent in Austria, we must be prepared for changeable weather on Rallye Monte-Carlo. You can have one stage that’s completely dry and then the next stage could have full snow so tyre choice is always a compromise.
“Because of that, our tyre range for Monte Carlo has been designed to be particularly adaptable to a very wide range of conditions. And there’s the logistical challenge due to the increased quantities of tyres we must bring to the event and the use of two service parks.”