Tire experience, once on the racetrack and back

Win on Sunday, sell on Monday - this old wisdom is not only valid for automobile manufacturers. Tire manufacturers are also represented on the racetracks of this world - there you learn quickly and sometimes the hard way. For our YouTube channel, we took a look behind the scenes of tire development and made a surprising discovery.

youtube player

The Nürburgring, tire development in fast motion

Motor sport is one of the driving forces for tire development, which is simply in the nature of things. As the only connection between the asphalt strip and the vehicle, the tire often contributes to the small difference between victory and defeat. Tire manufacturers from all over the world have long since discovered the Nürburgring-Nordschleife as an ideal test area. The Nordschleife of the Nürburgring offers a varied test area over a length of 20,832 kilometers and is also one of the most demanding racetracks in the world. With a total of 73 corners, a gradient of up to 11%, an incline of up to 18% and a difference in altitude of 290 meters on one lap, the Nordschleife cannot be compared to any other racetrack in the world.

The 24-hour race of the Nürburgring is held every year on this unique race track, a motor sport competition of superlatives. 24 hours through the green hell. The ideal test area for tire developers. During the event, over 130 vehicles from all performance and weight classes will face the unsteady weather conditions of the Eifel. From sweltering sunshine to hail, there are few weather scenarios that are not part of everyday life on the Nordschleife. Where better to set up a tire than in this huge box of experiments in motorsport?

The perfect tire for all weather

The demands on the tires are the same for every car and yet so different. The traction, the durability and the way the tire presents itself to the driver are criteria for the development of the tyre. Not only traction on wet roads, resilience at high temperatures and an even and long-lasting grip are required. In motorsport, different values ​​count than in everyday life, but as a tire manufacturer you learn a lot about aging processes, lasting traction with different tread depths and drivability of the tire from the experience of the race track.

From series to motorsport - the development of tires does not just go in one direction

But while the development from motorsport to series production is already well understood, there are also situations and tasks where tire manufacturers have to understand that experience from series production can – and sometimes has to – be transferred to motorsport.

For the "PURE ETCR" racing series, a tire was sought that works both in the wet and in the dry, i.e. ignores the classic distinction between motorsport slick and motorsport rain tires. A challenge that is not easy to master. At Goodyear, however, with the Eagle F1 Supersport a tire that is already the best choice for one of the most demanding production vehicles in the world, the Audi RS e-tron GT.

Challenge accepted

Bernd Seehafer, Technical Project Manager at Goodyear, explains the process of developing a tire for these special requirements within a short time frame: “The WSC data sheets were the starting point. We could already tell that the cars would be different as they are heavier at around 1.700kg and have more torque than petrol racers. It was also specified that the tire should be used on both wet and dry roads. So we looked around the Goodyear road tire portfolio and found that the recently launched Eagle F1 SuperSport would be a good base for our PURE ETCR tire.”

"The profile is very similar to that of the Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport, but many details have been adapted to the new challenge," explains Seehafer. “The same applies to the materials used and the tire properties. The compound combines racing-typical properties of dry and wet tires, but is adapted to the needs of the ETCR.”

Seehafer: “The tricky thing was to develop a tire specification with wet and dry properties. Because normally in racing you have a tire for dry weather and a tire for rain. This had to be taken into account for all tire properties - from the material to the compound, the profile and general features. That sounds easy. But a racing tire that can do everything is not that common. We were able to connect some insights from the past. Now the tire meets the specifications in the dry and also has wet capabilities. It has the same concept as the road tire but is significantly stiffer than it. This is how we ensure good driveability on the race track for the heavier PURE ETCR vehicles compared to the original street-based tire. The aquaplaning properties are still at a good level to ensure performance on dry and wet roads throughout the tire's lifetime."

Perfect tires for a perfect vehicle

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 is used as original equipment on exciting electric sedans like the Audi e-tron GT and has already made a name for itself as a tire for electric vehicles. Four-door sedans like the RS version of the e-tron GT produce in excess of 600 hp and accelerate their occupants from 3,3 to 0 km/h in just 100 seconds.The performance figures of these cars are impressive and so they also need an ultra-high-performance tire to match.

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 is an ultra high performance tire designed for sports and performance cars of all classes. While Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 is already a popular tire for performance cars with conventional engines, it was recently chosen by leading manufacturers for their flagship electric sedans. This required Goodyear to develop specific technologies to optimize the performance, handling, comfort and long-distance capability of premium electric super sedans.

Goodyear developed the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 in sizes 17″ to 21″ for vehicle manufacturers. Half of these OE sizes have an A rating for rolling resistance, which aids in battery life. In addition, Goodyear has developed its RunOnFlat technology as an option for OEMs who want to eliminate the need for a spare tire or tire repair kits. This means there is more space for the batteries, increasing range and performance.

When Audi chose Goodyear for the recently launched Audi e-tron GT quattro and RS e-tron GT, Goodyear optimized performance by reducing movement in the tire tread, resulting in precise steering and higher levels of grip.

And in the end, the circle closes here: from motorsport to series production and back to motorsport. A development loop that knows no end.

You may also like

Leave a reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * marked

Sea in Premium