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Pirelli has announced its new asphalt tyre ahead of the 2008 WRC, when the Italian firm will become the official tyre supplier.

The new tyre has been formulated over several test sessions.

"Pirelli is working hard to prepare the rubber for all the different surfaces that competitors will face on next year's WRC from January onwards,” a Pirelli statement read.

"The Italian firm's technicians recently signed off the asphalt tyre, after an intensive and detailed series of tests with reigning Italian Rally Champion Paolo Andreucci and the Bozian Racing Peugeot 307 WRC used by Gigi Galli on a number of WRC events throughout 2006.

"The countries visited by Pirelli and Andreucci during the test programme included France and Spain, before ending up in Sardinia.

"This intense test cycle has enabled Pirelli to come up with a tyre that has met with the FIA's seal of approval and will showcase a number of innovative features.

"In particular, the new tyre will not use any so-called ‘heavy oils' in its construction. The elements in the new tyre already conform to environmental legislation set to come into force in 2010.”

From 2008 onwards, anti-deflation mousse systems are banned in the WRC, which has added to the challenge facing Pirelli.

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