2014 WRC - Spain - The MICHELIN LTX Force H4/S4 tires, MICHELIN Pilot Sport H4/S4 tires and MICHELIN Pilot Sport FW tires Michelin’s suite of WRC...
The RallyRACC–Rally de España, penultimate round of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship, is reputed for being a particularly complex event, and this reputation is fuelled by the variety of challenges its organisers throw at teams and crews. And this year is no exception!
As in 2013, the rally is due to kick off on Thursday evening, at around 6pm, in Barcelona where a 3.2km street stage (SS1) awaits competitors. They will then travel back to the service park in Salou the same evening before serious action begins with 140 kilometres of gravel tests on Friday.
The event will then switch to asphalt stages on Saturday and Sunday, in contrast to last year when the sealed-surface tests were run first.
This switch in the order of the gravel and asphalt stages isn’t this year’s only change, since a mammoth 50km stage has been scheduled twice on Saturday (Escaladei 1 and 2, SS9/11) to mark the event’s 50th edition.
The two loops that incorporate this marathon test feature 80km of competitive action in total, the longest permitted by the WRC regulations!
Leg 1: gravel
For the opening day’s dirt stages, Michelin runners will have a total package of 12 MICHELIN LTX Force H4s tires (the nominated tire, hard compound) and eight softer S4s tiresto cover the possibility of wet weather. Crews will be allowed to use up to eight of these tires (205/65R15, equivalent to 17/65-15) with the cars in ‘gravel’ trim. They will also be authorised to use four tires for Thursday’s shakedown.
Legs 2 and 3: asphalt
To cover the switch from the 15-inch wheels used for the event’s gravel stages to the 18-inch wheels employed for asphalt, teams will then change the set-up of their respective cars and match them to the new MICHELIN Pilot Sport H4s tires (the nominated tire, hard compound) and S4s tires (softer, in case of rain) (235/40R18, equivalent to 20/65-18).
Crews will be authorised to use a maximum of 18 tires over the last two days, from a total package of 18 H4s and 14 S4s. In case of extremely heavy rain, the use of up to eight MICHELIN Pilot Sport FW tires (FW = Full Wet) is authorised by the regulations.
Michelin will have a total of 1,540 tires available for its partners:
- 520 x MICHELIN LTX Cross tires (H4 and S4)
- 900 x MICHELIN Pilot Sport tires (H4 and S4)
- 120 x MICHELIN Pilot Sport FW tires
Michelin will have a total staff of 16 in Salou:
- 1 manager
- 2 coordinators
- 4 Michelin technical team advisers
- 9 fitters