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Zestino Tyres: the tyre of the future?

When it comes to rallying, tyre brands are one of the most talked about aspects that set people apart. 

Sometimes a rally can be decided based on tyre choice. Whether it be compound or brand, making the right rubber decision can go a long way to ensuring a good result.

Zestino Tyres are a relatively new brand into the market, but over the past 18 months have been gaining popularity in the Victorian Rally Championship (VRC), thanks to series leader and tyre stockist, Adrian Stratford.

Stratford won with the tyre on debut at the Mitta Mountain Rally in his Fiesta G2 last year, beating the might of some high-specification 4WD cars. Since then, the tyre is one of only two to win a round of the VRC.

In fact, at the recent Nissan Nightmoves Rally in June, five of the top 10 drivers were using Zestino Tyres on their car.

Zestino’s 09R design features a straight lead block design, which helps with acceleration and braking on the stages. The high edge helps with initial turn-in for cornering, while the more open pattern thrives in loose conditions.

Affordability

It is the price and durability of the tyre that has also made it so popular in club rallying Victoria, as Zestino’s value for money is more than appealing.

Being sold for between $230 and $285 per tyre at Adrian Stratford Motorsport (ASM), depending on size, they sit well below the price of some of their competitors.

Russel Seabrook uses Zestino rally tyres on his Subaru Impreza RS.

In fact, when you crunch the numbers, to do a full seven round state championship in a 4WD car, Zestino Tyres end up being around $8,000 cheaper across the season.

The Zestino is more than up to the task of being competitive at the front of the field.

They might not be a Pirelli, but they don’t try to be, and the results they’ve achieved speak for themselves. Stratford has taken multiple state round wins using them.

But don’t take it from the person who sells them, take it from the other Victorian competitors, who have been more than pleased with the tyres.

“The wide open tread pattern on the tyres work very well, excelling in both wet and dry conditions,” Russell Seabrook said.

Another competitor, Cody Richards (pictured right), has been using Zestinos for the last 12 months, and is another happy customer.

Using 13-inch tyres on his Ford Escort, he sets times that are well beyond what would be expected from the specification of his car.

“The tread pattern of the tyre works really well for mid-corner grip,” Richards said.

“It seems like the harder I leaned on the tyre, they kept giving more and more grip” – Cody Richards

“They don’t lose the turning edge as quickly as other tyres I have used.”

Former Victorian champion, Wal Lee, put Zestinos onto his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX for the first time at the Marysville Stages this year, and was also happy with the tyre’s grip on the wet roads.

“Normally I suffer on wet events as I lose confidence in grip with my heavy Lancer, but with the soft compound Zestinos, I was able to push more than I would have normally,” Lee said.

Wal Lee has made the switch to Zestino Tyres.

Sole supplier

Competitors in various stages of their career have displayed the value and quality of Zestino Tyres, and with more development and understanding expected from the brand, it suggests there’s more to come from the Chinese tyre brand.

Despite there being multiple outlets that can sell the Zestino brand, Adrian Stratford Motorsport are working towards becoming the sole supplier of Zestino Rally Tyres in Australia, and by the end of the year plan to have a tyre truck at events to sell and fit tyres, further enhancing the customer experience when buying Zestino Tyres.

It seems that over time, Dunlop and Pirelli are the only surviving tyre brands in Australian rallying, having been in use for over 30 years. During that time, brands like Yokohama, Bridgestone, Falken, Kumho, Hankook, and Silverstone have come and gone, unable to survive long-term in the Australian market.

However, early signs are that Zestino are here to stay, and their combination of quality and affordability is something that is going to bolster their popularity over the coming years.

To purchase Zestino rally tyres, visit adrianstratfordmotorsport.com.au, email adrianstratfordmotorsport@gmail.com or call Adrian himself on 0400 792 429.

  • This article is a paid editorial for Zestino Tyres and Adrian Stratford Motorsport

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