Pirelli recently marked half a century of association with the city of Carlisle at the Pirelli International Rally. The event took place at the company’s Dalston Road factory, with 19 British Rally Championship (BRC) teams taking part. Many of the cars ran on Pirelli tires, including five of the top-spec R5s.
Hosting the third round of the BRC and also a round of the British Historic Rally Championship (BHRC), the Pirelli International Rally’s ceremonial start was a centerpiece of the Pirelli annual Family Day, an event where employees can bring their families to experience the rallying close up.
Matt Edwards, who drives for the M-Sport team and won at last year’s Pirelli International Rally, said, “The event is very unique. You need a lot of bravery over the crests and on the high-speed straights to really make up time. You need to also have an element of caution as Kielder can bite and catch you out. Kielder is not known for allowing mistakes so it’s very much a tightrope between a stage win or retirement.”
Teams could choose from all four Scorpion K compounds, which are designed for clearing loose gravel from the dry stages, while the KM was at their disposal if it rained and the stages turned muddy. There were also 44 crews competing in the BHRC section of the rally on Pirelli’s GM tires for historic rally cars.
Jonathan Wells, UK motorsport manager at Pirelli, commented ahead of the race this weekend, “The event is a great test of the tires we produce and, with weather an important factor, the tread pattern choice by our R5 crews will be as big a consideration as selecting the right compound.
“Most of all, though, this event marks the 50th anniversary of our factory at Carlisle, so we’ll be hoping for a ‘home’ victory to celebrate!”
View the results of the race here.