Pirelli ready for Mount Panorama challenge

AS A major partner of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour and the Intercontinental GT Challenge, Pirelli will have a significant presence at Mount Panorama this weekend. 

The Italian brand returns as the official control tyre supplier for the race as well as a sponsor of the Pirelli Top-10 Shootout on Saturday afternoon. Pirelli are also the official tyre supplier for the Intercontinental GT Challenge that commences this weekend.

Pirelli will supply all competitors the P Zero DHD2 slick this weekend, the first time the tyre has been used in Australia’s International Enduro. The tyre was specifically designed for GT racing and has been proven across the globe and will be used in each ICGT round this season.

The harder compound tyre will be supplied to competitors this weekend to cater for the unique nature of the 6.213km Mount Panorama circuit.

Both the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour and outright Mount Panorama lap records were set on GT3 vehicles using Pirelli rubber, distributed in Australia by local suppliers Trofeo Motorsport – who will also field their Lamborghini GT3 in the race this weekend.

Trofeo will distribute more than 2000 tyres this weekend to the 41 entrants competing in the race.

“Bathurst encapsulates all the major challenges of GT competition in one race, on an iconic track that is well known for its demands and excitement,” said Matteo Braga, Pirelli circuit activity manager.

“The precision and confidence that’s needed puts an emphasis on the tyres: one of the reasons why Pirelli has the overall lap record here. It’s the first year that we run the DHD2 in Australia, as part of the tyre strategy that now standardizes all the Intercontinental GT Challenge races.

“Over the past few years we’ve seen weather conditions that have been generally sunny but with some extremes of temperature, both hot and cold, as well.”

Mount Panorama poses a unique challenge for tyre suppliers thanks to high loads across the top but a smooth surface, ensuring low tyre wear compared to other circuits.

Teams will be supplied 12 brand-new sets (48 tyres) of the Pirelli DHD2 tyre this weekend, while teams competing in the Pirelli Shootout on Saturday afternoon have access to a thirteenth new set for that session only. Wet tyres are unlimited across the weekend.

The nature of the Bathurst track makes safety car periods a common feature, and these often determine the ideal strategy.

With the race starting at 05:45 in the morning and running until late afternoon during the Australian summer, ambient and track temperatures can vary by 15 degrees centigrade or more, affecting rates of tyre wear and degradation.

Although Bathurst is an endurance race, it always culminates in a final sprint, so teams have to manage their strategies to always keep something in reserve for a final push.