2022-02-25 10:28Nyheter

Pirelli is up for a challenging Rally Sweden

Pirelli brings 1400 tyres to Rally Sweden.jpgPirelli brings 1400 tyres to Rally Sweden.jpg

Rally Sweden has kicked off. Pirelli brings 1400 tyres to Umeå in northern Sweden, specially designed to handle the snow, ice, and the increased demands of the new generation hybrid-powered Rally 1 cars. But with a milder temperature, the Rally Sweden could prove a challenge. 

New location and new cars. It's not only the car manufacturers that have to optimize their settings when the only genuine winter round of the season is coming up. This also means a new challenge for Pirelli, the official FIA tyre supplier for all 4WD cars in WRC. 

The Sottozero Ice J1B will be used by Rally1 and Rally2 cars and is an evolution of last years J1A tyre. It features a total of 384 tungsten-tipped studs, each one protruding seven millimeters out from the tread blocks. The rest of the stud is locked into place using Pirelli's patented vulcanization process rather than being inserted afterward.

"The increased power and weight of the new Rally1 cars have required us to optimize our entire range of WRC tyres, and on Rally Sweden we will see the debut for our new Sottozero Ice tyre, the J1B. Like its predecessors, this tyre will provide the drivers with an incredible amount of grip," Terenzio Testoni, rally activity manager for Pirelli, says. 

But the weather forecast has changed, and on the first two special stages of the rally this morning, we could see a bit of rutted roads and some gravel coming up. 

"The weather forecast is the biggest challenge. Last week it was really cold, now it's not so cold. Now the cars find the gravel quite soon, we are confident in the stability of the studs but the gravel is not a big friend of our tyres," Terenzio Testoni says during Friday morning.

The special vulcanization process helps keep the studs in place when the temperatures are milder and more gravel is exposed, but the Sottozero Ice J1B has been developed for snow and ice. 

“The gravel is not in the best condition but our tyres are strong, and we are still confident. Now we'll see the weather forecast for tomorrow, and it looks like we have a slight chance to have cold weather”, Terenzio Testoni says.
The Pirelli team are now awaiting the cars for the first service of the Rally Sweden. 

“We have to wait and see when the drivers come back (for service) to see the condition of the tyres. It should not be an issue for this first group, but we'll see on the repeat stage when the gravel comes up. The drivers need to be quite clever to save some tyres for Sunday”. 

The Junior WRC season also begins in Sweden with the first of five rounds. For the first time, the series will be run using four-wheel drive Rally3 cars, as opposed to the two-wheel-drive Rally4 cars used before, with the aim of providing an affordable step further up the rallying pyramid for young drivers.

"We are also excited for the Junior WRC season to begin in Sweden with four-wheel drive cars for the first time. It's a great step to help young drivers reach the top in rallying, which is something that Pirelli has a proud record of supporting, also thanks to programmes such as FIA Rally Star. We are delighted to take the next step here in Sweden," Terenzio Testoni says. 


Pirelli will bring around 1400 tyres to Sweden, of which 1200 will be Sottozero Ice J1B tyres for the top class of Rally1 cars and the secondary Rally2 cars, which include those registered for WRC2 honours.  

Rally1 drivers can use up to 26 tyres during the rally, while Rally2 drivers can use up to 24 tyres. Drivers in both classes have a separate allocation for use in shakedown.

Pirelli will also provide 176 Sottozero Ice WJA tyres for the Junior WRC drivers, who can use up to 22 tyres across the event, including shakedown.

Om Rally Sweden

Rally Sweden är en av 13 deltävlingar i WRC, världsmästerskapen i rally, och det enda utpräglade vinterrallyt. Det är Sveriges största årligen återkommande evenemang med över 100 000 åskådare under fyra dagar och närmare 120 miljoner tv-tittare runt hela världen! Tävlingarna avgörs för första gången i år i Umeå i Västerbotten. Tävlingen har körts sedan 1950 och varit vinterrally sedan 1965. Rally Sweden är känt som en vinterfestival, där publiken kommer förare, bilar och tävlingarna riktigt nära – Closer to Rally.


VD Svenska Rallyt AB
Anna Nordkvist
Communication Rally Sweden
Niklas Westman