Mixed fortunes for Pirelli competitors in Spain

by Vince Pettit

It was mixed weekend for the Pirelli-shod drivers that took part in the 2016 Rally Catalunya – Rally de España.

Fabio Andolfi made a triumphant return to the WRC3 class this weekend as he took victory in his Peugeot 208 R2 following on from his R5 class outing in Corsica (that was funded by Pirelli and ACI Sport). His team-mate Damiano de Tommaso also made it on to the podium in third place. Michel Fabre in his Citroën DS3 R3T Max finished in fourth place and remains favorite to take the WRC3 title for Pirelli.

In the top category Lorenzo Bertelli impressed on the opening SSS as he took second place behind Ott Tanak. A varied performance over the weekend saw him finish just outside the top 10 as he continued to make progress with his asphalt driving. Martin Prokop made a welcome return to the series for the first time in four months but was forced to retire on SS18 after losing his front right wheel.

In WRC2 Armin Kremer was challenging for the class lead but suffered an accident on the road section that took him out of the rally.

“I felt very confident on both surfaces,” said Andolfi. “Even though it’s demanding to switch from one surface to the next, the tyres gave me the confidence I needed to push hard and seal the victory, so a big thank you to Pirelli for this.”

Pirelli’s rally activity manager Terenzio Testoni added, “On what is always an extremely challenging rally due to the surface changes, our full range of tyres was used, which set fastest stage times on every surface and won all but two of the stages. This was despite extremely strong competition on this event from factory-supported entries and more than one different tyre manufacturer.”

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