Pirelli: Perez tire failure nothing to be concerned about

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Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has said that Sergio Perez’s tire failure during the Korean Grand Prix was not caused by an underlying problem with the tires themselves, but instead a result of a flat spot caused by a lock-up.

The Korean International Circuit has traditionally been tough on tires, and many drivers made mistakes during practice as they looked to find the limit when it came to pushing on the Pirellis. However, on lap thirty-one, Perez locked up heading into turn one (pictured), producing a huge amount of tire smoke. Seconds later, his front-right tire delaminated heading along the straight between turns two and three, warranting a safety car to clear the debris that gave Mark Webber a puncture.

“Regarding Sergio Perez’s front-right tyre issue we have been able to determine very quickly that it was the result of a flat spot caused by a lock-up under heavy braking,” Hembery said. “We’re obviously on exactly the same construction as we raced here last year, so there’s no underlying problem, while flat spots or punctures have just always been an integral part of racing.”

Pirelli’s tires have come under extra scrutiny this season following a series of failures at the British Grand Prix back in June that prompted the Italian supplier to re-introduce last year’s constructions in Hungary before the summer break. However, this incident is merely a combination of factors, meaning that there are no concerns that the same issues may flare up again in the final five races.

It was confirmed last week that Pirelli would continue to supply Formula One with tires in 2014 despite a turbulent season.

Al Unser Jr. to race Pikes Peak Hill Climb for first time in 29 years

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Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. is coming out of retirement to race again.

Unser Jr., who turns 56 on April 19, will compete in the 96th Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 24. It will be the first time Unser has raced at Pikes Peak in 29 years, since the 1989 event.

Unser won the Hill Climb and was named “King of the Mountain” in the 1983 event.

Unser said in 2007 that he was retiring from racing and had no plans to race in the future. However, he has taken part since then in some selected vintage racing events.

Speaking of vintage cars, Unser is slated to drive a 1936 Chevrolet Sedan in this year’s Hill Climb, according to race organizers.

He’ll compete with a number of luminaries including eight-time Hill Climb winner Paul Dallenbach; Layne Schranz, who will be competing in his 25th “Race to the Clouds”; 23-time champion Clint Vahsholtz; 25-time Hill Climb competitor David Schmidt II and three-time Climb winner Spencer Steele.

Unser recently returned to IndyCar racing as a consultant with Harding Racing, which is beginning its first full season in the series with Gabby Chaves behind the wheel.