WRC A FULL 2018
MICHELIN MOTORSPORT: PREVIEW CORSICA LINEA – RALLY – TOUR DE CORSE.
2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
Round 4: Corsica Linea – Tour de Corse
Two types of tyre and a choice of three compounds – Michelin’s answer to the challenge of Corsica’s 10,000 turns Competitors face one of world class rallying’s most infamous fixtures this weekend (April 5-8) when the FIA World Rally Championship visits France for the Tour de Corse. With two of the three
rounds already contested this year won by Frenchman Sébastien Ogier in his M-Sport-run Ford Fiesta WRC, plus the second appearance of nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb in a Citroën C3 WRC after his recent trip to Mexico, the 2018 Tour de Corse is likely to generate strong local interest. And, with the presence of last year’s winner Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i30 WRC), who is second in the provisional Drivers’ standings, it is shaping up to be thrilling battle on the Mediterranean island.
The route has undergone significant changes since last year’s rally, with at least eight stages that none of the current-generation drivers know. The total distance of 1,120.10km includes 12 stages totalling 333.48km which crisscross the island between Friday-morning’s start in Bastia and the finish in Ajaccio on Sunday afternoon. The longest test on the programme is Vero-SarrolaCarcopino (55.17km) which hasn’t been run since 2001 when it was split into two parts. It passes
via the Col du Tartavello which, at 885 metres, will be the highest altitude reached by the crews over the weekend.
Michelin’s partners will have a choice of three different tyres for this all-asphalt clash, one of which – the MICHELIN Pilot Sport Full Wet 3 – was designed exclusively for extremely wet conditions.
Unless the weather is appalling, however, crews will essentially run either the hard-compound MICHELIN Pilot Sport H5 or the softer Pilot Sport S6 which was made available for the first time in January for the Rallye Monte-Carlo. Developed for the calendar’s most challenging asphalt rounds like the Rallye Monte-Carlo and Tour de Corse, it stands out from its predecessor – the Pilot Sport S5, launched in 2016 – through its faster warm-up performance and improved grip in damp conditions, without detracting from its potential or longevity in the dry. That said, the MICHELIN Pilot H5, the consistency and performance of which make it the chief choice for Corsica, is expected to be the most commonly selected option if the weather is seasonal.
“We used the same roads we usually visit for testing ahead of this unique event,” notes Jacques Morelli, the manager of Michelin’s FIA WRC programme. “That said, it will be hard to carry over what we saw in testing due to the numerous changes that have been made to the route, the new drivers and those who are making their comeback. We still managed to run both the MICHELIN Pilot Sport H5 and S6 and the drivers feel confident with the latter in damp and mixed conditions.”
“At the same time, the Pilot Sport H5 is reputed for its exceptional durability and, since its introduction, the consumption of our ‘hard’ compound option in testing has fallen some 30 percent thanks to its consistency over long distances. Our partners are now fully acquainted with its characteristics and have run it on loops of up to 70 kilometres on numerous occasions with a single spare, even though they are authorised to carry two spares. The Pilot Sport FW3 is an ‘emergency’ solution for extreme conditions; but only eight such tyres are available per driver. Given the heavy rain we have seen in
Corsica since the start of the year, it could prove a useful ally in combination with the Pilot Sport S6 in certain situations.”
Michelin staff for the Tour de Corse 2018
Michelin’s partners at the Tour de Corse 2018 will be backed by a total staff of 17:
– Olivier VIALLE, Marketing Director
– Jacques MORELLI, FIA WRC Programme Manager
– 4 Team Advisors
– 2 coordinators
– 8 fitters
– 1 press officer
Michelin will have 1,894 tyres for the 2018 Tour de Corse (WRC: 854 tyres / WRC2: 860 / RGT: 180).
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Rally Report Magazine Argentina
Photos: @World / Portugal
3 April 2018
Categories: RRM ARGENTINA WRC 18 AÑOS