Last year’s Székesfehérvár Rallye will be in the championship this year as Vértes Rallye. Participants will compete in the fourth asphalt race of the National Rally Championship on October 11th. In addition to changeable weather, tires can play an important role. We went around with an expert.
“For the all-wheel drive cars of the ORB and ORC, the maximum usable tire quantity is 14, including all kinds of treads and blends. In the case of ORB and ORC 2WD and Rally2 cars, the allowed quantity is 10 pieces. This is important because if it rains, the rain tires will also be included in this amount and the spare wheels used in the race. In the case of the Peugeot Cup, 8 pieces can be used and those who may not be good at tactics will produce 6 tires right away in the first round, ”said Tamás Mezey, the head of the Hungarian distributor of Pirelli racing tires.
So in an extreme case, if a rider is tactically bad, gets an extra puncture, and the rain falls on the last lap, he can’t put on a rain tire. So it’s not as easy to choose the right tires as one would think from the edge of the track.
“Exactly. In addition, the Peugeot Cups are even at a disadvantage, as those who start in field 208 will also be included in the RC4 category, but there are also participants like Strider Zoli, who goes with Peugeot but did not enter the Into the Cup, so he can already use 10 tires, as opposed to the Cup participants, who only have eight, ”added the head of autogumiplaza.hu.
It’s clean, but what happens if the driver picks 6 tires right at the start of the race, but doesn’t go a cent with the two spare wheels on that race? Can an unused tire be replaced with another mixture?
“No. When a competitor leaves the service park for that lap, there is a rubber marking zone. There, the four on the car and one or two spare wheels in the passenger compartment are assigned to your start number. From then on, it is considered to be a tire in use, whether or not you have used that spare wheel. ”
This practice is very similar to Formula 1, where teams give away before the races how much of a mix they will use on a given race weekend.
“It’s almost like that, but I’d rather compare it to the ERC, because in a Formula 1, before the races, Pirelli himself selects the three mixes from which teams can choose, but the number of sets is limited, they can use exactly 13 sets for the three days. in addition, Pirelli sets two of them uniformly for everyone. At the Rali EB, the amount of tires that can be used is 18 for all-wheel drive cars and 14 for two-wheelers. It is also a relief at the ERC and the Hungarian Championship that you do not have to tell the team in advance what kind of tire they will want to use, as opposed to F1, where this has to be handed over in advance. ”
The rubber rule was officially introduced by the domestic association last year. Is it due to cost cuts, or did the commissioners just follow the international trend?
“We’ve been telling RSB for quite a few years now that we’re talking against ourselves, but for a total distance of 140km, it’s completely unrealistic to be able to change tires every lap. It is unrealistic for a racer to change his tires after 28 km. We tried to confine this to some level within a regulated framework with the RSB and therefore proposed to determine the maximum amount of tire that could be used per race. This, of course, imposes lower costs on teams and it won’t happen what happened a couple of years ago when a racer used more than 20 tires during a 140km km race. This is completely unrealistic. Think about it, an ERC can be made out of 18, which is over 200 km. So in the past, teams with larger budgets could easily have tossed new tires for every lap, but this rule creates a much more level playing field for competitors. Of course, it should be added that every rule is worth as much as it is followed. ”
So the specification is clear, but what happens if someone uses more than the specified amount of tire?
“In the event that someone exceeds 14, 10, 8 pieces, they will be penalized for 20 seconds per tire. It is even conceivable that a pilot will consciously exceed the usable quantity for tactical reasons, including the penalty in his race, because he knows that he will bring the race with a loss of 40 seconds if necessary. Otherwise, the field has an average of four mixtures at its disposal, and this already includes wet rubber. Large categories and 18-inch wheel users can choose from 4 dry and one wet tire. There is one small exception, and that is the prologue, because the tires used there do not count towards the usable quantity, and you can even start with a street tire, but you have to be a brand name, i.e. Pirelli or Hankook. ”
At the current Vértes, former Székesfehérvár Rally, the first day of the race ended with a city Super Special for years, which is part of the race but did not count towards the final result of the race. What about such sections?
“The Super Special section is part of the competition, so the tire rule applies to it, so the tires used there are also included in the maximum amount of tires that can be used.”
The 8-tire binding of the Peugeot Cup was invented by the rulemakers specifically for educational purposes.
“We treat the 208 Rally Cup Hungary together with Tamás Tagai and György Balkányi as a talent management program. In the case of riders, we also try to reinforce that not only do you have to press the gas very well and not be skillful enough to drive, but you also need to be able to share technique and tire. In Formula 1, the World Rally Championship and the European Championships, the management of tires during a race also plays a big role. Many times we get to be at a disadvantage with 8 pieces, and the question arises, what if it will fall? We know they want to fight for category victory as well, not only for first place in the Cup, but they have to learn to think ahead. They have to calculate by observing the weather how external conditions and trails change. We help them in this as well, because János Tóth Jr., Janika Jr. is there from Peugeot, and Péter Dávid (Pedro) advises the guys from us. Pedro is specifically a Pirelli employee, Janika and I are out at the end of the fast, watching the tracks, standing there in the background all the way. I can only repeat myself, we help the Peugeotos guys in everything, but they have to learn to schedule the 8 tires and choose a mixture that will last until the end of the race, but it can be done! ”
Good advice is an interesting thing because everyone is happy to give it, but few accept it. Is this item also true for tire choice?
“At almost every lap, we consult with a significant number of competitors about what we think and what we see. One thing is what the riders accept from our instructions, but we also tend to point out that we can basically only make a suggestion of which tire is capable of what, based on the information we receive from them. But! It is not up to us to make the decision and it is up to the pairs to manage the tires correctly during the race. ”