Sponsored

The tyres of Wales Rally GB

Wales Rally GB closed off another fine WRC season, but Michelin's engineers will use the knowledge gained to improve tyres for the future

Michelin are the recognised masters of rallying. Since the world championship began in 1973, they have scooped 48 titles: 23 drivers’ crowns, and 25 manufacturers’ titles. All together, that’s over 250 individual World Rally Championship victories, including that very first event, the 1973 Monte Carlo Rally. Jean-Claude Andruet was the victor on that occasion, at the ‘wheel of an Alpine A110.

Jaques Morelli heads up the Michelin effort at each WRC round, leading a team of approximately 20 technicians and support staff. Around 1,000 tyres are brought to each rally, transported in four large trucks that also bring a mobile office for the event.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

With rounds of the World Rally Championship held all over the globe, one of the major attractions of the sport is the variety of terrain, road surface and weather conditions the teams have to drive on. As such, Michelin offers a range of tyres, with two different compounds available for each type: asphalt, gravel, snow and ice tyres, the latter featuring studs that, much like a football boot, can penetrate the hard surface and offer grip on seemingly an impossibly icy road.

These days, the rules surrounding tyre choice are tightly governed by the FIA, and the number of tyres used per car is strictly governed. No longer can teams cut additional tread patterns into the tyres to suit the prevailing weather conditions or road surface on a stage: the tyres the WRC tyre suppliers bring have to be truly versatile.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

This year, once again, the British round of the World Championship took place in the forests of Wales, so Michelin supplied teams with two different compounds of gravel tyres. These tyres not only feature a tread pattern best suited to finding grip on forest tracks strewn with gravel, but are also extremely strong to negate the risk of puncture or other tyre damage from sharp rocks.

Given all the major teams in the WRC use Michelin tyres, it’s no surprise that with Sébastien Ogier’s victory, Michelin marked up another victory for their unrivalled tally. Moreover, the extreme conditions will have informed the very same Michelin engineers who are working on the firm’s next generation of road tyres.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/ford/ford-escort-rs-cosworth/18710/ford-escort-rs-cosworth-buying-guide
Ford Escort RS Cosworth

Ford Escort RS Cosworth buying guide

9 Jan 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-gr-yaris-revealed-in-full-return-of-the-homologation-special
Toyota Yaris

Toyota GR Yaris revealed in full – return of the homologation special

One of most sought after hot hatchbacks of 2020 has finally been revealed: the Toyota GR Yaris
10 Jan 2020
Visit/honda/civic-type-r/202099/new-2020-honda-civic-type-r-makes-debut-at-tokyo-auto-salon
Honda Civic Type-R

New 2020 Honda Civic Type R makes debut at Tokyo Auto Salon

Honda has released the first images of the revised Civic Type R that’s being shown for the first time in Tokyo
10 Jan 2020
Visit/bmw/x3/202087/bmw-x3-m-2020-review-the-right-ingredients-in-a-very-wrong-package
BMW X3

BMW X3 M 2020 review – the right ingredients in a very wrong package

The first BMW X3 M previews the next BMW M3’s all-new powertrain, let's hope it doesn’t preview anything else
8 Jan 2020
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019