WRC 2018 - Germany - The MICHELIN Pilot Sport H5 and MICHELIN Pilot Sport S6 shined
The judicious tyre strategies necessitated by the fickle local weather at this time of year, Rallye Deutschland is considered to be one of the FIA World Rally Championship’s toughest asphalt rounds. This season’s event was no exception and the pace of the weekend’s 18 stages (three fewer than 2017) provided the spectators who turned out in even bigger numbers with a spectacular, exciting show, as the thermometer soared to as high as 30°C, with even hotter ground temperatures.
The total length of this year’s event was 1,221.89 kilometres, including 325.76km competitive kilometres, which was up from 1,165.25km and 309.17km respectively for the same figures in 2017.
After Thursday evening’s ceremonial start in the Saarland region’s Sankt Wendel, Friday’s menu saw crews visit the steep, narrow vineyard lanes that crisscross the nearby Mosel Valley vineyards where the event’s notoriously unpredictable conditions effectively threatened. Aided by Michelin’s technical advisors, the response of the teams’ weather and tyre strategy experts to the threat of heat-induced storms and localised showers was a variety of compound options to allow competitors to optimise their performance.
The WRC crews essentially counted on the soft-compound MICHELIN Pilot Sport S6 which is designed for cold, damp conditions. And they had good reason to praise the work of the French firm’s engineers when rain effectively added to the challenge on Day 1.
The other two legs took place in bright sunshine which prompted the WRC runners to favour the harder-compound MICHELIN Pilot Sport H5 which was developed for hot, abrasive conditions.