PARIS — The Federation International de l'Automobile has issued a tender offer for the tire supply contract for the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) — held by Pirelli & C. S.p.A. since 2021 — for the 2025-2027 seasons.
Interested parties have until Sept. 25 to submit bids for the tender. The FIA will disclose the winning bid on Oct. 25. The contract will cover all 4-wheel-drive categories within the WRC.
Those submitting bids must be able to demonstrate that their proposed tires are safe and reliable and can offer equal sporting capabilities for all competitors in each relevant technical category in the variety of conditions that would be encountered on a WRC competition — on gravel or tarmac surfaces and in snowy/icy conditions.
Established in 1973, the WRC pits drivers in production-based cars racing on a variety of surfaces, from public roads to snow-packed forest tracks to rock-strewn mountain passes. Each season consists of 13 to 15 rallies in a dozen or more countries around the world.
Pirelli has been present in rallying since 1973, claiming 25 world titles and equipping the winners of 181 events. Pirelli was sole supplier to the WRC from 2008 to 2010 and returned as a supplier in the 2013 through 2016 seasons.
Prior to the FIA's selecting Pirelli in 2019 as the WRC's spec tire supplier for the 2021-2024 seasons, rallying had been open tire competition series for the previous nine seasons.
During that time, Group Michelin had been the WRC's primary tire supplier and is considered the most likely company other than Pirelli to submit a bid. Hankook Tire & Technology Co. Ltd. is another potential bidder, considering its role since this year as an approved tire supplier for the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) and Junior European Rally. Championship.
The FIA said those considering bidding for the contract should be able to demonstrate that their products offer a clear performance differential between wet and dry tires, thus affording teams and drivers the opportunity to pursue alternative strategies vis-à-vis their competitors.
The selected tenderer will be invited to enter into a contract with the FIA that will establish the technical and financial terms of the tenderer's appointment as supplier.
Pirelli also is waiting to hear from the FIA about the tender process for the tire-supply contract for the Formula 1, 2 and 3 series for open-wheel, single-seat racers.