PIRELLI MOTORSPORT: OVER 100 YEARS OF SUCCESS
The history of Pirelli tyres and international motorsport is one and the same More than a century of victories on two and four wheels
History/1: Chronology of a champion
Pirelli’s industrial and technological history is closely linked to its history of motorsport successes, which officially started in 1907. Since then, the Milan-based company has earned hundreds of victories on track and on road, on two and four wheels, exploiting the experience gained on the race track for innovation in its commercial products.
The ultra-high-performance (UHP) P Zero line of products adopts technical solutions
of tyres -
races, in launched
GRAND-AM and GT competitions.
2009 – which dominated Formula commercial tyres in the 1970s (with
1 racing the CN36
in the 1950s, version used for
led to major innovation competitive rallies).
As confirmation of Pirell’s motorsport excellence, based on a tradition of innovation and reliability in competition, Pirelli has been selected as exclusive supplier not only for the Formula 1, GP2 Series and GP3 Series championships, but also for WRC and GRAND- AM (from 2008 to 2010) in car racing, and for the World Superbike (SBK) until 2012, as well as Super Stock and Motocross World Championship, in motorcycle racing.
Pirelli’s motorsport history reaches all the way back to the late 19th century. In 1897, Giovanni Battista Pirelli supplied tyres to riders in a motorcycle race. Pirelli Motorsport’s first official competition was the Paris-Peking overland race in 1907, won by Prince Scipione Borghese’s Itala in a memorable effort together with journalist Luigi Barzini, covering 17,000 kilometers with only four tyre changes. This Pirelli victory inspired the company to invent its elongated P logo in 1908, in order to distinguish the brand from competitors and represent it in the eyes of consumers.
In the 1920s, Pirelli began a collaboration with Alfa Romeo to dominate Grand Prix competition of that era. Pirelli fitted cars such as the Alfa P2 models driven by Antonio Ascari, Giuseppe Campari and Gastone Brilli Peri (winner of the first world title in 1925 in that Formula 1 series).
Soon, success in the Mille Miglia race followed, with Pirelli also becoming a major force in road racing. After the Second World War, the first victories with Ferrari and Maserati arrived. The Italian marques Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Maserati all became Pirelli teammates, followed later by Germany’s Porsche, the UK’s Aston Martin and others, for both racing cars and standard production vehicles.