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Old 04-04-2005, 08:20 PM   #26
Rallycarperson
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I noticed that most of the 'big boys' are using Pirellis. Any reason for this?


-Mark
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:24 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rallycarperson
'big boys'
Assuming you mean WRC drivers, the answer is money and marketing. The tire contracts are decided between the car manufacturers and the tire manufacturers. The drivers have very little, if any input in the process. They drive the tires they're given, and provide feedback to the manufacturer to develop them further.

- Christian
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Old 04-05-2005, 01:35 AM   #28
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I don't think he meant WRC, because from the looks of it, there are at least as many contending WRC rally teams running Michelin as there are running Pirelli. Regardless, the reason stated above is the reason as soon as you hit sponsorship. They give you free tires, you take them. They usually work so close to what any other manufacturer is offering that it comes down more to the individual tire selection than the manufacturer.
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Old 04-05-2005, 10:59 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikkellison
I don't think he meant WRC
Well, he certainly can't have meant in the US. I think Peter Workum and Alex Gelsomino may have run them last year. Maybe. But they'd be the only ones, as far as I know.

Other than that, I can't think of any competitors who've used them since Prodrive packed their bags in 2003.

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Old 04-05-2005, 12:19 PM   #30
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Yes, Graham (Autosport Engineering) uses Pirelli. I bought a new set of take-off Michelins from him & some used P's too. He's got oodles of new Pirelli's for use & for sale.

I would guess that due to their business with Graham, Jon B & Otis D may use P's also.
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Old 04-05-2005, 12:39 PM   #31
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CPD uses Pirelli tires. a lot of the ones sold by autosport are old and old compounds from what i hear. but i beleive he's about to order a new load of pirellies and then he'll have the new stuff. we ran a few new-new tires on doug havir's car and they were a fair bit better, a little softer, and lasted longer.
i also thought patR ran pirelli...
usually i hear pirelli for gravel, michelin for tarmac. pirelli are a lot better for avoiding punctures too.
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:32 PM   #32
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Anyone find a source/pricing info on the Hankook's?
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Old 04-05-2005, 03:54 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalpimp
pirelli are a lot better for avoiding punctures too.
I'm not sure you can say that with any certainty at all. Since 2003, I've run probably 800 stage miles on Michelins. In that time, I've experienced two punctures, one of which was caused by hitting a berm so hard I saw stars, so I'm willing to bet no rally tire would have held up to that.

I think the only people who would have any sense of the puncture resistance of the tires would be a WRC team that has run both in back-to-back seasons. Other than that, there are just too many variables and too little stage mileage to make any meaningful comparison.

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Old 04-05-2005, 04:01 PM   #34
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I've been watching the 2004 WRC season, and I can't see any team willfully using a tire knowing it will be much less effective at preventing punctures. Peugot switched to Pirelli in 2004 for the 2005 season, but that's not because they were having puncture problems. They were one of the teams with the least puncture problems. Can you imagine a team who gets a tire for free running said tire, knowing it may end all chances of a finish? I think it was on Cyprus that Solberg got three punctures in one stage on Pirelli's, yet was able to finish because of that autoinflate mousse thingy.
I do find it interesting though that all the WRC cars DO seem to run either P's or M's, and no Silverstones, Black Rockets, Kumhos, etc. etc...
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Old 04-05-2005, 04:42 PM   #35
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i personally have little experince with the michelins, but i've heard at least 4 very experienced (a few ex-prodrive) people say that pirelli's have a much stronger sidewall. and the one m tire that i looked at off the rim didn't seem to have nearly as thick of a sidewall as a pirelli. eventually you reach the point where you either add weight to make the tire more relilable, or have a lighter tire and risk it breaking.

i'm sure one reason you don't see other tire manufacturers is that they don't have enough tire choices. take pirelli for example, most of them look the same, but you have both K's and KM's, in 2 4 and 6 compounds, and then RF (reinforced) of all of those. and this is just for the basic gravel tire design. and beyond that, if your a big team, you work with pirelli and they make you special test compounts (a few of which are floating around here in the states). then you add in tarmac tires, hard gravel/clay tires, snow, ect...

also, i'd assume that most of the other tire manufactures can not put that effort forth. you have to send your own employee's out to the events to moniter the tires, fit them, conduct PR. and also simply to pay enought to have your name on the side of the car. on top of all of that, what if your tire isn't good enough at the end of the day? all for theoretical sales? who here has bought a pirelli because SWRT uses them?

wow i got off topic. {/rant}
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:25 PM   #36
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Well, yeah I meant in the US. After looking at many Open Class cars (two years ago), I have noticed that many people used Pirellis.

Graham, AFAIK used Pirellis, because Autosport Eng carries them.


-Mark
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Old 04-05-2005, 11:15 PM   #37
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Looks like the hankooks are avaliable now, we're checking on availiability and such. I'll post once I know more, but more than likely due to pricing and being a dealer I'll be running them later this year.

Jay
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Old 04-06-2005, 02:52 AM   #38
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eveyone can guess but I've run thousands of kms on multiple brands (000s on each brand) including 'customer' and 'non-customer' spec tires and I can assure you that ther top brands (pirelli and michelin) each have their own advantages. If you dont know why you need them, you dont need them. Including one car/test rig that ran on three brands over three seasons.

crappystones have crap sidewalls, but decent gravel compounds in terms of compound grip
michelin has grippier compounds than pirelli but weaker sidewalls
pirelli km pattern is better than michelin za in damp/muddy/gravelly
pirelli have stiffer feel but michelins you can feel the tires better (for ze feeling for ze Auriol fans) - so feeling wise some drivers prefer the 'bite' feeling on michelin and others prefer the 'ok it grips' feeling on pirelli
anyone who says silverstones are as good doesn't know what they are talking about
yokos have better mud traction than all but have crappy pattern for light gravel, and have way better sidewalls than kumho or silverstone, they are close to michelin but not as strong and the compounds not as grippy/durable, but not that far off. Like quite close, just the pattern on the 'customer' tires that is off. The 'non-customer' yokos (not available here) are equal to our customer michelins.
I disagree with christian I would rather drive on a 50km pirelli than a 50km michelin, but I would rather drive on a zero km michelin than a zero km pirelli (50km of 'real' use), but it is all compopund, tread and condition dependent. You cant generalize so much. Dont look at WRC guys, for one the tires are not available to you anyways, they might look the same but trust me they are not.

if you want to know what people want, look to see what the top teams who pay for their tires are using.

there are the top 2 brands, yoko right behind, and the rest way behind.

As a beginner all you should care about is durability, not compound. By the time you figure out how to use the compound they will be worn out anyways. on top of that, the compounds are tempaerature dependent and the top teams will take AT LEAST 2-3 compounds to a rally.

If you want used gravel tires in BC see email [email protected]. Some sell for $30 cdn and some sell for $100+ depending on what is on them. We have sold over 200 used gravel tires in the last 2 months alone no complaints. About 100 left. We have a strict policy of only selling used stuff to locals. If it were me, I would buy a used michelin/pirelli (you dont need the compound since you are not wearing them down anyhow) since it will last through ten times as much beat down as a lesser brand. For new the yokos have the best value/price point. But hey what do I know. Don't listen to people who are speculating about product they have never used !

Last edited by patr; 04-06-2005 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 04-06-2005, 08:28 AM   #39
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Thanks pat.
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Old 04-06-2005, 01:40 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalpimp
i personally have little experince with the michelins, but i've heard at least 4 very experienced (a few ex-prodrive) people say that pirelli's have a much stronger sidewall.

I don't know about puncture resistance, but I bought 5 Pirellis and ran them about 2 years ago. The side wall was much stiffer (actually too stiff) than the Michelins. They were a real bitch to mount! I did have one develop a huge bubble in the side wall after only 1 event. I've only had 1 real puncture with the Michelins.
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Old 04-06-2005, 05:38 PM   #41
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I've used them all, and my 2 cents is don't waste your time with the silverstones and kumhos. A blow out or bubble will happen quickly and quickly annoy you as well. Performance of new michelins and new pirellis is very similar, but I like the stiff sidewall feel of the pirelli and its wear characteristics.
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Old 04-06-2005, 09:23 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rallynutdon
I don't know about puncture resistance, but I bought 5 Pirellis and ran them about 2 years ago. The side wall was much stiffer (actually too stiff) than the Michelins. They were a real bitch to mount! I did have one develop a huge bubble in the side wall after only 1 event. I've only had 1 real puncture with the Michelins.
oh baby are they hard to mount! i thought my 275/40/17 victorracers were bad, nope.
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Old 04-11-2005, 02:00 PM   #43
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Ok so this thread seems to be right on time. Some questions:

1. In the coverage of rally NZ last night the michelin tires tended to last much longer than the perelli tires. When one of the Mitsu drivers came up to the camera the tire was shredded and lots of really yellow fabric was flapping around. Pat says we cant buy the tires that they use in WRC. my ? is:

What do you think, have teh WRC tires become specialized composite constructions of rubber, kevlar, and steel.
And if so, what is the difference when compared to the tires that we can buy?


2. Does anyone remember teh designation of the Michelin tire that everyone liked?

3. It also seemed to me that the better drivers; (more experience/faster); got way more life from their tires. Is that true, smoother, more efficient drivers place less demands on their tires so they retain their performace longer into the stage?
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Old 04-11-2005, 02:17 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LyveWRX
What do you think, have the WRC tires become specialized composite constructions of rubber, kevlar, and steel.
All radial ply tires are specialized composite constructions of rubber, steel, polyester etc. Some also have aramid fibers as part of the ply. If you're getting at the underlying method of construction, the tires used in WRC aren't that different from the ones available to customers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LyveWRX
And if so, what is the difference when compared to the tires that we can buy?
The compounds are different and the construction details (# of plies, material and construction of plies) are different. If you pick up a customer-spec tire and a WRC-spec tire in either hand, you can feel the difference in weight easily. I don't have an estimate for the difference, but it's easily a few pounds. Basically, in the way we think about tire "models," it's a totally different tire.

And yes, drivers who drive "smoother", with less tire scrub, definitely make their tires last longer.

- Christian
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Old 04-11-2005, 02:25 PM   #45
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I didn't get to watch the rally, but I'll bet the Michelin that everyone liked was the "Z" tire with the close tread pattern in a hard compound. I've noticed that Markko Martin seems to do well with tire life despite his preference for slightly softer tires because he likes to track through corners more than slide. I'd be willing to bet that Gronholm and probably Duval both had tire longevity problems. However, Michelin versus Pirelli? I thought that the Pirelli gravel tire usually outlasted and worked better on gravel than the Michy... but then again, Solberg and Gronholm aren't exactly what you'd call "laid back" drivers...
I would be interested to find out if someone did a side-by-side comparison of WRC tires versus commercially available counterparts. I know that the WRC cars run a mousse, and I wouldn't be surprised if the sidewalls were beefier or there was some sort of dual compound in some of the tires, if indeed they are different. However, unless they're testing tires while competing, I can't see them running something all that different from what we can buy. Definitive information on this would indeed be cool.
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Old 04-11-2005, 07:52 PM   #46
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Why ever not? Consider that they do small batches of tires - even smaller under the new rules, and vary at least the compound(s) from venue to venue depending on expected conditions. Considering the stakes I have no doubt they do anything and everything within their current state of knowledge and technical capability to try to gain any advantage they can for their customers at that level of competition.

As for the tires we can buy, the volumes are miniscule compared to virtually any road - or even R compound - "normal" tire, and they have to meet a price point to sell any at all. They have no control over what venue the tire will be used in, so - again give the small volumes - they have to take their best guess at what will work well and give some reasonable longevity under a broad range of potential conditions. Then make them in batch sizes they can reasonably expect to sell and move them into the retail channels worldwide - months ahead of any potential actual use.

A WRC tire for expected "medium size crushed gravel, shallow, over soft sand and clay base, damp to wet with considerable recent rain, more expected on the stages, and temps from 5C to 10C" will likely be completely different than one for "small rounded gravel, 3-6cm deep, over dry solid clay base, no recent rain, nor any expected on stage, temps 25-40C". Different compound(s?), tread pattern, possibly even carcass construction. And that could be just for 2 different days on the same rally!

A retail tire in some cases will just be that makers "gravel" tire (Kumho?); at most a small number of tread variations, possibly(?) with compound changes, in a given makers product line (Michelin) to handle any/all gravel/mud/dirt/sand/rock/etc. condition - anything and everything that isn't either tarmac of snow/ice.
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