Andreas Mikkelsen has finished Pirelli’s Citroën C3 test programme in Sardinia ahead of the Italian company’s full-time return to the FIA World Rally Championship in 2021.
The Norwegian completed around 1400km on the island over recent months – the equivalent of nearly five WRC rounds – in a World Rally Car prepared by Saintéloc.
He ended with a final day’s running last week in the Tergu – Osilo stage which featured in Rally Italia Sardegna earlier this month. Rain allowed Mikkelsen to trial the new Scorpion KX soft compound gravel tyres in wet and damp conditions.
During the summer he has also tested Pirelli’s P Zero asphalt rubber in hard and soft compounds, as well as the full wet Cinturato sealed-surface tyre.
“We’ve taken time to analyse all the data gathered so far and with the recent test in damp and wet conditions our development programme has been completed as planned, with more gravel sessions still scheduled for the future,” said Pirelli’s rally activity manager, Terenzio Testoni.
“We’ve been able to follow our revised testing programme that was disrupted as a result of the Covid pandemic without any issues, and finished all our initial development as anticipated. Next, we look forward to seeing our tyres in competition.”
Mikkelsen and 2003 world champion Petter Solberg showcased the new rubber during Rally Italia Sardegna, completing demonstrations runs at the pre-event shakedown and the rally-closing Wolf Power Stage.
Testing of the Sottozero winter tyres was undertaken at the end of 2019 and the start of this year.
They will be available in studded and unstudded format for next season’s opening fixture at Rallye Monte-Carlo (21 – 24 January), as well as in fully-studded profile for Rally Sweden (11 – 14 February). WRC teams will try them for the first time in December.
Although Pirelli has not provided rubber to manufacturer teams in the WRC’s headline World Rally Car category since 2010, it has plenty of recent championship experience from supplying cars in the WRC 2 and WRC 3 support categories.