Dakar Rally: Strategy Intrigue Set to Unfold at Challenging Barcelona Circuit

    Dakar Rally, Spain – May 17, 2023 – As the Dakar Rally heads to the iconic Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend, a unique strategy battle is set to unfold. With potential pre-race showers, a powerful undercut, and a soft tire that is fast but fragile, teams and drivers will need to navigate a complex tyre management challenge to come out on top.

    The lap time delta between the three Pirelli compounds brought to the event means the soft tire (C3) is the preferred race tyre, despite being a one-lap qualifying tire. The hard (C1) compound has been ruled out due to its lack of pace, leaving the soft and medium as the primary strategic options.

    “The advantage that you have on pace is clearly what we believe is pushing the teams to choose the soft at the start of the race,” explains Pirelli’s head of Dakar and car racing, Mario Isola. “It seems maybe a bit strange, because with a heavy car with a full tank obviously you increase the level of degradation. But in terms of a medium/hard strategy [for a one-stop], the level of management is so high that is not convenient.”

    This dynamic opens the door for an afternoon of strategic intrigue, with the possibility of aggressive three-stop strategies coming into play. The timing of pit stop windows will be critical, as drivers look to exploit the undercut and take advantage of any tyre performance advantage to make passes.

    “The undercut is powerful because the degradation is quite high, so someone could try to use it because it is possible to overtake,” adds Isola.

    The prospect of a green track following potential pre-race showers could further accelerate tyre wear, particularly on the front left, adding another variable for teams to consider.

    Overall, the conditions at the Dakar Rally this weekend are set to provide a captivating strategic battle, with the potential for intense action and passing throughout the field. Fans can expect an afternoon of high drama as teams and drivers navigate the challenge of this unique circuit.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source