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On the technical front with Michelin
The Z BTO nominated for Rally Australia 2005
The cut-off date for registration of the 70 tyres authorised per driver for Rally Australia was September 23rd, that is to say prior to the start of Rally Japan. A maximum of 45 of these 70 tyres may be used during the event.
Michelin Z BTO tyre
Although the regulations permit a maximum of two types of tread pattern for Rally Australia, Michelin runners have only nominated the celebrated Michelin Z BTO (Braking & Traction Optimisation). It is expected that the medium compound Michelin Z BTO 9 and the hard compound Michelin Z BTO 9+ will be the most frequently used options.

Michelin'soverseas kit, which comprises two containers filled with equipment and Group N tyres, left Obihiro for the Australian port of Fremantle the day after the finish of Rally Japan. Another container containing the nominated tyres for Michelin's partners for Rally Australia left Marseilles, France, on September 24th.

Two formats
Although the 2005 Rally Australia visits familiar stages, the event's format has been revised. The groups of stages programmed on Days 1 and 2 are particularly long (up to 77km on the Friday) but are made up of a number of short stages. On the contrary, Day 3'sstages tend to be longer (close to 30km) but the groups of stages are shorter. The Australian stages are not particularly hard-wearing, but the event takes place in November, so ground temperatures promise to be high.

Re-cut treads… in moderation!
To clear the small marble-like stones that cover the stages in the Bunnings complex (Leg 2), or should it rain, drivers are permitted to re-cut the tread pattern of their tyres with a view to obtaining wider grooves between the tread blocks. It is important not to remove too much rubber, however, because the groups of stages are long!
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