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New Pirelli DHE Tire Set for Global Debut

Pirelli’s new DHE tire to be utilized in all three GT World Challenge series next year…

Photo: SRO

Pirelli’s new-for-2020 GT3 tire is set to make its debut in all three of SRO Motorsports Group’s GT World Challenge series next year, according to Pirelli’s circuit technical manager Matteo Braga.

Braga confirmed that the recently announced Pirelli PZero DHE tire will be prioritized for SRO-run series that could also include the British GT Championship. 

The DHE replaces Pirelli’s DHD2 tire, which first debuted in GT World Challenge Europe in 2018 before being rolled out globally this year.

That gradual introduction, according to Braga, is unlikely for the DHE, despite initial comments from SRO founder and CEO Stephane Ratel indicating it would be introduced over a two-year period.

“We expect, if everything is in line with our plans, Europe and America GT World Challenge series will be for sure with the new product,” Braga told Sportscar365.

“Asia, I think from a logistic point of view, if we are on time, we can start as well. 

“That would be good as the BoP is spread around the world.

“The target is to have the same product in as many championships as we can and keep it for at least a couple of years to give the stability to the customers to learn and optimize the performance and not spend too much money in testing.”

When asked if the new tire will help solve some challenges faced by teams in GT World Challenge America this year, Braga said teams will find what they’re “looking for”.

“As always we work on improving reliability, consistency to give a wider ranger of use to the different brands,” he said. “The cars are also evolving so we’re trying to follow the needs of the new cars.

“We want to improve without making big changes, otherwise all the knowledge and background they’ve built this year would be wasted.

“It’s a step in the direction where the teams are expecting.”

While still in the development phase, Braga said they expect to finalize the tire in the coming weeks.

“We just did the last validation a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “Now we’re going through all of the data and analysis. 

“We will proceed with the [finalization] and present it to the manufacturers by the end of November.

“From there we will start the production and depending on the availability we’ll supply the different markets.”

Braga confirmed that the DHD2 will be utilized for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, due to the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season-opener using the previous year’s Balance of Performance.

Pirelli Planning “Upgrade” to GT4 Tire

Enhancements are also coming to Pirelli’s GT4 tire for 2020 according to Braga, although specifics are still being determined on the yet-to-be-named compound.

“That’s a bit more complicated because of the variety of championships, cars,” he said. “So it’s still under discussion. We are planning to upgrade the GT4 tire to GT3 technology. 

“I think this is good because GT4 is growing and the technology on the car is growing.”

Braga said the new-for-2020 GT2 platform will utilize Pirelli’s GT3 tire, at least initially. 

“So far we have tested with the GT3 tire,” he said. “Obviously if the cars are evolving in a different way, or the series format will be different, there will be specific needs, and we will need to develop a new product.

“But I think for the first year it will be the same as GT3.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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