Pirelli Concentrates On Europe In 2007
Pirelli announced last week that the company will concentrate on
GT racing in Europe next year. It was in Europe in 2006 that the
company achieved much of its motorsport success, but the ALMS still
saw five wins for the Aston Martins in GT1, and the GT2 win at Sebring
for the Multimatic Panoz Esperante.
2007 seems set to be a lower key year for the company,
as it builds up to a renewed challenge in 2008 – as Paul Hembery,
the company’s Motorsport Director, explains.
“It may be painful sacrifice to make in 2007,
particularly after our successful 2006 experiences and particularly
because 2007 is Pirelli’s centenary year in motorsport, but
the lower level of on-track activity both in Europe and US is intended
to assist our on-going product development and R&D programs
which are to be focused on FIA GT and on a new raft of programs
for 2008 that we hope to announce as we go through 2007, some of
which will certainly be US orientated.”
European success came in two series this year, and
resulted in three championship successes – for the Autorlando
Porsche in GT2 of the Le Mans Series, for AF Corse in GT2 of FIA
GTs and for Vitaphone in GT1.
Team LNT also took GT2 honours at the Le Mans 24
In total, in
26 races, Pirelli-shod teams secured 14 poles, 16 fastest laps,
64 podium finishes, 22 wins and three GT Championships in 2006.
This view is
going to look subtly different next year.