Pirelli will make an additional warm weather test in Sardinia this month before starting the search for cooler lower grip conditions to further develop its tyres for next season’s FIA World Rally Championship. Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen will again drive the firm’s Citroën C3 WRC on its return to the Italian island after an initial test there in July. Pirelli’s rally activity manager Terenzio Testoni said: “We will still have very warm conditions in Sardinia so we can find the limits of the tyre wear and the consistency. “We can also use this test to back up the data from the first test in Sardinia. It’s very important for us to understand everything and how we can move forward. “After Sardinia we want to move somewhere cooler with less grip. We have to have answers to the questions from all the conditions. Right now the priority is to have a better understanding of how the car works on gravel, we have a lot of experience from the tyres on asphalt in the Italian championship. Testoni added that Pirelli would test on a monthly basis ahead of the firm’s return as the WRC’s tyre supplier at January’s Rally Monte-Carlo opener. He said Pirelli’s asphalt experience would pay off in the French Alps. “We expect everything to be okay for Monte-Carlo,” said Testoni, “[even though] we have a small window [for testing]. “We will have a new tyre for Monte with some changes in terms of [avoiding] punctures. We want the tyre to be fast in the WRC next year, but also have the priority of durability, that’s why we’ve added more strength and integrity to the sidewalls.”

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