The MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross S2’s ‘Z’ pattern on top of the world on ‘El Condor’
For the second year in a row, the Rally Argentina threw extremely varied weather conditions at competitors, making it a huge challenge. After the opening, relatively compact, dry stages on Thursday and Friday, in quite mild temperatures, the conditions became increasingly difficult and Saturday's itinerary was cold and rainy, while Sunday turned out to be something of a nightmare, especially at the start of SS12 ('El Condor-Copina') where crews had to cope with mud and very low visibility because of fog.
Total concentration was vital in order to stay in control, but the drivers were helped by their MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross tyres, the tread pattern of which provided them with the necessary grip. “If a tread pattern isn't capable of clearing the mud, the tyre quickly becomes a slick and doesn't provide any grip whatsoever. That's why Michelin has stayed loyal to its asymmetric 'Z' tread pattern which delivers surefooted performance for competitive distances exceeding 80 kilometres, even on aggressive ground,” says Jacques MORELLI, the manager of Michelin's rally programmes.
Despite the difficult situation, MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross S2 was in its element. Sunday’s action saw Volkswagen Motorsport’s Jari-Matti LATVALA and Sébastien OGIER control their lead from in front to finish first and second, while Mikko HIRVONEN pulled out all the stops to fight back with fastest times on SS11/13 (‘Giulio Cesare-Mina Clavero’) and SS12 (‘El Condor-Copina’), providing an eloquent glimpse in the process of both his talent and the exceptional potential of his Michelin tyres. The Finn’s domination was only thwarted on the Power Stage by Sébastien OGIER who collected three welcome bonus points in the process.
The podium finishers in Argentina were Volkswagen Polo R WRC crews LATVALA/ANTTILA and OGIER/INGRASSIA, along with MEEKE/NAGLE in the N°3 Citroën DS3 WRC.
The MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross H2 and the MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross S2
Size: 205/65R15 (17/65-15)
Width: 205 mm
Sidewall height: 133 mm
Diameter: 15 inches
Tread pattern: asymmetric and directional (a left- and a right-hand side tyre)
Weight: 16,4 Kg
Use: non-sealed surfaces
MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross ‘H2’: hard-wearing, aggressive surfaces, dry conditions, temperatures over 15°C
MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross ‘S2’: smooth gravel, wet or damp, temperatures up to 15° C
MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross ‘H2’: Mexico, Portugal, Italy, Australia and Spain
MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross ‘S2’: Argentina, Poland, Finland and Great Britain
The MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross H2 and S2 in Argentina
Number of tyres available for the 2014 Rally Argentina: 780
Number of tyres that could be used by the RC1 and RC2 drivers: 24 for the event (five tyre-change opportunities) + 4 for shakedown
Total stage distance: 405.10km (14 stages)
Total route length, including road sections: 1,571.14km
Allocation for each RC1 and RC2 driver:
- 24 MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross S2s
- 16 MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross H2s
The next round of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship will take place in June in Italy. It will be the fourth gravel round in a row and, once again, will feature specific conditions. The priority tyre for the event is the hard-compound MICHELIN LATITUDE CROSS H2.