Michelin expected to submit WRC tyre tender bid

The FIA launched a WRC tyre tender in July inviting tyre brands to submit their interest in becoming the championship’s sole tyre supplier, with the current tender expiring at the end of next year.

The tyre tender will cover a three-year period from 2025 to 2027, the last year of the contract coinciding with the WRC’s expected move to new regulations.

Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli is currently the official tyre supplier to all categories within the WRC after winning the FIA’s last WRC tyre tender in 2019 to supply tyres from 2021 to 2024. This period included the last season of the WRC generation car and the first three campaigns under Rally1 hybrid regulations.

Michelin previously supplied rubber to the WRC from 2011-2020 as an official supplier. They were joined by DMACK before the firm exited the championship at the end fo 2017.

Motorsport.com understands the French firm will submit a proposal before this week’s 15 September deadline. A representative from the manufacturer was in attendance at last weekend’s Acropolis Rally.

According to information gathered by Motorsport.com, India’s MRF Tyres is also expected to have made a bid alongside current tyre supplier Pirelli.

“We are working and analysing the tender because we want to participate. Now we are in August and the middle two weeks of the month Pirelli usually does not work,” Pirelli’s rally activity manager Terenzio Testoni told Motorsport.com on 5 August.

“The tender was presented a few days ago and this, therefore, does not help. At the tender, there will be many parts of Pirelli involved.

Michelin tires

Michelin tires

Photo by: Sutton Images

“There will be not only [me], but the technical part, the marketing part, the legal part, the communication part are also involved.

“We need to bring all these parts together to make sure that we present our tender in the best possible way.

“Despite the month of August, we are working on it. Of course, it doesn’t help, but we are working on it. But the intention to do it is there. We are doing all the analysis to figure out how to make the bid.”

The FIA is expected to announce the successful applicant on 19 October.

The FIA brief states that “tenderers must be able to demonstrate that their proposed tyres are safe and reliable and can offer equal sporting capabilities for all competitors within each relevant technical category in the variety of conditions that would be encountered on a WRC competition”.

Applicants must produce a minimum of two specifications of gravel and tarmac tyres, a snow [studded] tyre and a tarmac winter tyre – one with studs (where permitted) and one without studs. These two variants can be different types/compounds.

“Tenderers should also demonstrate that their products have the highest resistance to punctures and can offer a high level of sporting strategic capability allowing various number of compound strategies,” the brief continues.

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