Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli has added to its portfolio of nearly 300 motorsport championships worldwide by concluding an agreement to supply the prestigious Bathurst 12 Hours in Australia for the next three years.
This year, Pirelli won the race with McLaren against a field of different tire manufacturers, also claiming the top four places on the grid and setting the GT3 lap record. In order to save costs and maximise opportunities for every driver, from 2017 there will be a single tire supplier – which is nominated as Pirelli. The Australian GT championship, which runs to the same GT3 regulations as Bathurst, also has Pirelli as its sole tire supplier.
This latest agreement with the Bathurst organisers strengthens Pirelli’s position as the world leader in ultra high performance tires, especially when it comes to endurance racing. The Italian tire firm has a long-term exclusive agreement with the Blancpain GT Series, which has recently expanded to Asia, and also equips a number of the most prominent national championships around the world, such as the Pirelli World Challenge, Chinese GT Championship, Italian GT Championship, ADAC Master and British GT Championship. Pirelli is additionally sole supplier to the FIA GT World Cup at the Macau Grand Prix, which unites some of the best sports car drivers in the world.
The tires supplied for Bathurst will be P Zero competition slicks similar to those seen on the Blancpain GT Series, which includes the world-famous Spa 24 Hours. This has some similarities to the stunning Mount Panorama circuit at Bathurst, with high speeds, fast corners, and sweeping elevation changes. There will also be a Cinturato grooved tire available for wet conditions.
“Endurance racing is particularly central to our strategy, as it’s the ultimate expression of both the performance and durability that is synonymous with the P Zero name,” commented Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery. “The cars that we will equip in Bathurst represent the world’s leading supercar manufacturers, the vast majority of which use P Zero as original equipment. This underlines once more the link between road and track, which is an integral part of our company’s DNA, as we expand our presence in Australia.”