Pirelli stated that low tyre pressures and road conditions made it unsuitable for the studded winter tyres which caused the failures on Saturday.
On Saturday’s running of the Rally Sweden event, Hyundai’s Esapekka Lappi and Craig Breen along with M-Sport’s Ott Tanak, suffered from tyre failures. Lappi’s failure had the worst consequence because it sent the Finn into a snowbank which cost Lappi seven minutes and a possible podium finish. His teammate Breen suffered a similar failure on the same stage whereas Tanak had his failure on SS14 which led the Estonian to overshoot a junction.
Pirelli, the championship’s sole tyre supplier, undertook an investigation into the failures which confirmed that they were running pressures lower than advised by the company. It was also stated by rally activity manager, Terenzio Testoni, that the increase in exposed gravel on the stages also made conditions unsuitable for the winter studded tyres.
“In regard to the episodes that took place today, after our investigations, we understand that there were in some cases tyre pressures that were much lower at the finish than we recommend at the start: we have never seen tyre pressures that low until today,” said Testoni in a statement.
“It must also be said that in the afternoon the road conditions were completely different to the pure winter conditions in the morning, with a lot of exposed gravel and a rough surface, unsuitable for studded tyres.”
At the time of writing, no further tyre failures have been reported on the final day.
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