It would appear as though a year away from the WRC is all Pirelli needed. The Italian manufacturer has indicated that they would like to rejoin rally’s top flight as soon as 2012 after a one year break. The intent of the return is to attack Michelin and have a battle amongst top teams in 2012.
“I want us to be back in the WRC in 2012, once those regulations are out, we will study them carefully and begin – if the conditions are right – to prepare ourselves. We have a programme of continued development to maintain our knowledge in rallying through the season.” -Paul Hembery Pirelli Motorsport Director
Currently the WRC will have Michelin providing for the big teams. DMACK is also a supplier in the series but offer a cheaper cost effective tire for smaller teams. A battle between Pirelli and Michelin would be interesting and would add another dynamic in the championship fight. Given that both the DS3 and Fiesta will be a year old, some of the variables we will see this year will be gone in 2012. Introducing a potential tire battle will allow for another variable to keep the fight fresh. Would be interesting to see which teams would go back to Pirelli after having the Michelin tires.
This is still not confirmed and the regulations will dictate if we get to see a rubber battle on stage. One thing that we have learned about the FiA is the regulation will probably not be released until the night before Sweden 2012. Ok, maybe a little sarcastic, but if the FiA truly wants open tire competition, then the regulation will need to come sooner rather than later. Keep it here through out the season as this potential story unfolds.