At Monza in Italy, 41 cars, 12 prestige manufacturers, over 150 people and 22,000 horsepower all combined to recreate a historic portrayal of the Pirelli logo from 1978 – 80 metres long and 18 metres tall. As was the case 40 years ago, the modern cars participating in this Pirelli logo recreation were diverse, featuring different makes, models, engines, architectures and styles – yet all with the same Pirelli tyres.
The iconic 1978 Pirelli logo was recreated by the GT3 cars that currently compete in the Blancpain GT Series, the world’s premier championship dedicated to road car-based racing machines, exclusively equipped by Pirelli.
A total of 41 cars made up the Pirelli logo at Monza. As soon as the sun began to set after a busy day on the track, the racecars all gathered on the main straight for the photo shoot, where they normally reach 280km/h. This time, they were pushed into place one by one, with the only sound coming from the P Zero tires on the hallowed asphalt of Monza’s “temple of speed”.
The original 1978 concept was to involve a huge variety of different road cars from a mix of manufacturers, to illustrate that the one thing they had in common was their Pirelli tyres. Photographer Adrian Hamilton directed the photo shoot, and there was also a TV ad produced by Italian director Giulio Cingoli, introducing the slogan: “Tyres with a capital P”. This was also the very first TV ad that also spawned a “making of” spin-off.
Fast forward 40 years later to 2018 at the legendary Monza circuit, one of the oldest permanent racetracks still in regular use, second only to Indianapolis. And once again, thanks to a collaboration with championship organiser SRO, another giant Pirelli logo was formed by cars on the asphalt.
However, rather than roadgoing models from 1978, these were cutting-edge GT3 racing cars that compete in the Blancpain championship. This has more manufacturers represented than any other motorsport series, including Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG, Nissan, Porsche and Jaguar.
Each company was present within the Pirelli logo formed on the main straight, as they all represent a part of the prestige world in which Pirelli is the market leader. Many of these car companies use Pirelli tyres exclusively, which are specifically homologated to enhance the individual dynamics of each car and maximise safety.
Read about the history of the Pirelli Calendar.