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Pirelli will be the sole tyre supplier to the World Rally Championship for three years, starting from 2008, the FIA has announced.

The governing body said that the Italian manufacturer had won a tender, beating its only rival, BFGoodrich.

"It will now enter into a formal contract to supply tyres in all events of the championship to all competitors with a four-wheel drive rally car," a statement from the FIA said.

Pirelli is absent from this year's championship after its contract with Subaru ended last year.

"This new agreement with the FIA changes the way in which we will operate," Mario Isola, Pirelli rally tyre manager, said. "The single supplier agreement means that development can be directed into new areas, notably placing more emphasis on product reliability than sheer tyre performance.

BFGoodrich, which is owned by Michelin, have shown their dismay at the decision, saying the decision was made on grounds other than sporting.

"We demonstrated during the 2006 championship that the BFGoodrich tyres were the best," said Frederic Henry-Biabaud in a statement. "Two world champion titles crowned these successes.

"The financial and technical efforts we deployed for the past two seasons have therefore not been acknowledged, which is all the more regrettable since we know that today's and tomorrow's WRC car manufacturers unanimously supported our proposal.

"The BFGoodrich brand was therefore eliminated on the basis of criteria unknown to us but obviously unrelated to sports. For the time being, we take note of this decision," he said.

 

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