Don’t forget about the rubber

The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) has confirmed that two tyre manufacturers have been chosen to provide tyres for the 2012 World Rally Championship, reported

As was already the case this season, Michelin and DMack (who sponsored Ott Tanak in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC in the season-ending WRC Wales Rally GB) will provide all the cars competing in the WRC, with the exception of four-wheel drive Group N cars and two-wheel drive cars in the hands of non-priority drivers who will be able to run the tyre brand of their choice.

As expected, the maximum number of tyres available to Priority 1, 2 and 3 drivers for each round has been lowered from 48 to 35 for next year’s series, while a maximum of seven tyre change opportunities will be allowed. Tyre quotas are poised to come down further – by between 15 and 20 percent – in 2013 and 2014. This means that manufacturers will need to work on the longevity of their tyres, and this is effectively the case for Michelin which has already started testing on a variety of surfaces in preparation for the 2012 campaign.