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PIRELLI.COM / RACING

From Brabham
to Bathurst

From Brabham to Bathurst 01

Australia with an Italian accent
Australia may be on the other side of the world, but the passion for motorsport is just as strong as it is in Europe. After all, large sections of the deserted Australian outback were devoid of speed limits in the past, so it’s no surprise that so many young Australians grew up with a need for speed. One of them was Sir Jack Brabham, Australia’s first Formula 1 world champion in 1959 (who went on to win the title again in 1960 and 1966). Many years later, the team that carried his name used Pirelli tyres, beginning the story of the Italian manufacturer’s Formula 1 links Down Under. But the Italian firm has been around in Australia for much longer, with Pirelli Australia incorporated in 1979. It’s estimated that there are nearly a million people in Australia of Italian descent: among the most famous is a certain Daniel Ricciardo.

From Brabham to Bathurst 02

Gran Turismo
But it’s not just on the road and in Formula 1 where Pirelli makes an impact on Australian life. Australian models such as Gemma Ward, Duckie Thot and Adut Akech have starred on the famous Pirelli Calendar. There’s also another race venue in Australia that’s just as famous as the grand prix. We’re talking about Bathurst, where Pirelli is the sole supplier and overall lap record holder in GT. The Bathurst 12 Hours is one of the highlights of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, regularly featuring more than 40 cars from the world’s most prestigious manufacturers. Aussie touring car star Dick Johnson said that the spectacular track always made him feel “busier than a dog trying to bury a bone in a marble floor”. ‘The Mountain’, as it’s simply known, lies at the very heart of Australian motorsport.

The world of P Zero
Melbourne is the capital of Australia’s automotive society, and never is that more obvious than during grand prix week. Wednesday before the race a fan festival took place to launch the new F1 season, with Pirelli’s head of F1 and car racing Mario Isola making an appearance. But the links between Pirelli and Melbourne will become even stronger later this spring, when the newest branch of P Zero World opens in the city (following on from Los Angeles, Munich, Monaco and Dubai). This is a tyre dealership like you’ve never seen before: a place to hang out and chat with fellow car aficionados as well as getting your tyres changed. It opens another chapter in the great story of Pirelli and Australia’s car culture.

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