An 80-metre long
Pirelli logo

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In 1978, Pirelli had the brainwave of illustrating its ‘tyres with a capital P’ ad campaign with an iconic image that consisted of around 140 cars of different makes spread out on a runway to form the distinctive ‘P’ of Pirelli: a powerful visual reminder of the versatility of the tyre range.

Exactly 40 years later, another Pirelli logo has been spelt out using cars. While in 1978 the road cars took centre stage, this year the colourful and high-powered GT3 cars competing in the Blancpain GT Series were the protagonists.

The backdrop to the image was Monza’s main straight: the famous ‘Temple of Speed’ that is second only to Indianapolis in terms of historic race circuits that are still used today. In total, there were 41 cars, 12 represented manufacturers and more than 150 people involved in the shoot, not to mention around 22,000 horsepower – spread out over 80 metres in length and 18 metres in height. All this after a hard day of action on the race track.

80 metre long Pirelli logo

The GT3 cars in question reach about 280kph on the Monza straight; based on supercars from prestigious makes such as Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG, Nissan, Porsche and Jaguar. What all these competing cars have in common is Pirelli, with the Italian firm being exclusive supplier of the Blancpain GT Series.

After the first day of competitive action at Monza was over, without a minute to spare to catch the magic light just before sunset, all the cars were scientifically arranged on the straight to form a Pirelli ‘P’. There were only 90 minutes to mark out the correct positions on the asphalt, bring the cars to the location, and position them perfectly.

With no engines allowed to be fired up after 18.30 on the track, every single car – weighing about a tonne – also had to be pushed into place by its mechanics, drivers and other trackside personnel. The stunning end result is an enduring image that is set to last for another 40 years.

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