Road Cars Help Improve Track Surface Grip Ahead of F1 Race in Turkey
Lockdowns the world over have re-shaped the calendar of the 2020 Formula 1 season thus bringing to the fore tracks that either had never featured in the championship before or had been absent for a number of years. We’ve had races at Imola, Mugello, and Portimao and the F1 circus simply couldn’t leave Europe without staging a race at arguably one of the best Tilke-era tracks, Turkey’s Istanbul Park. However, track conditions have caused a myriad of problems for teams and drivers in the days leading up to the first Turkish GP in nearly a decade and one of the solutions found was ingenious to say the least.
History Repeats Itself As David Brabham Drives The Brabham BT62 To Victory At Brands Hatch
Brabham, a name that needs no introduction among motor racing fans, is firmly back where it belongs, on the track. The company stunned us all in 2018 when it pulled the covers off the vicious BT62, a 700 horsepower monster powered by a 5.4-liter naturally aspirated V-8 bound to squash any Porsche 911 GT3 you might encounter at your local track day event. Last month, the BT62 made its racing debut in the Britcar Endurance Championship with a victory at Brands Hatch. Partaking in the 24 Hours of Le Mans is still the target for the Australian motley crew, although it may not happen until 2022.
David Brabham, Sir Jack Brabham’s youngest son, is an established veteran race car driver in his own right. Despite lacking the trifecta of F1 World Driver’s Titles that make his father an all-time great, David is, however, a two-time ALMS champion and has conquered Le Mans outright a decade ago with Peugeot, although his career actually spans three decades. In the past few years, David decided to hang up the helmet and focus on regaining control of the Brabham brand and make something of it. That ’something’ is, for now, the BT62, and it seems like a cracking way to make an entrance in the world of track-bound hypercars.
The Coolest Concept at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show Might Be This Flying Car Tire Propeller
The Geneva Motor Show was filled to the brim with concepts. There were supercar concepts, EV concepts, luxury car concepts. You name it, they were there. But, believe it or not, the coolest concept that was on display at the show might not even belong to an automaker. It’s called the Aero Tiltrotor Tire Concept, and it comes from Goodyear. While it looks like a traditional tire, the Aero Tiltrotor Concept is far from a traditional tire. It can serve the usual purpose of a tire, albeit without any air in it, but it’s more important feature is its ability to turn into a propeller for flying cars. Yep. It’s a tire that doubles as a propeller for flying cars. All those dreams you had of one day driving a car that could fly like Doctor Emmett Brown’s DeLorean could turn to reality if these tires end up in production. That’s probably not happening soon, but the thought that a concept version of one now exists is pretty darn cool.
1978 Shakee Can Am racer
Also known as the Shakee Sports Racer, this car is one of the first built by Fabcar Engineering from Roman Slobodynski’s designs. The former AAR Chief Designer was commissioned by Tom Spalding.
Inspired by early ’70s Can Am beasts, the Shakee never raced in the Citicorp Canadian-American Challenge itself which had, by 1978, turned to a single-seater formula where former F5000 open-wheelers were converted to closed-bodywork sports cars. It was most likely used for SCCA-sanctioned races or Autocross events.
Tom Spalding was involved in the Can-Am series running the Bob McKee-designed Schkee DB1 which won the first race of the rejuvenated series with works driver Tom Klausler a year before.
The car doesn’t have a verified racing history but is akin to C-Production sports cars that run in SCCA championships in the US.
Meet the Goodyear Oxygene, the Tire That Makes Oxygen!
Goodyear has become the latest tire manufacturer to unveil a revolutionary tire concept that could change the industry for the better. The Ohio-based company went to the Geneva Motor Show to showcase the Oxygene, a tire concept that employs artificial intelligence, generates its own electricity, and is filled with living moss. When was the last time you saw a tire with that much capability? Never? You’d be right.
Goodyear Treading Hot Water Over RV Tire Probe Lawsuit
Tire manufacturer Goodyear is in hot water in the wake of an investigation launched by federal safety officials on allegations that some older Goodyear motorhome tires are susceptible to fail and cause deadly crashes. The probe is being conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which started its investigation after a court ordered the release of Goodyear data from lawsuits that had been previously sealed under court orders and confidential settlement agreements.
2017 Six Hours of Bahrain - Race Report
The final hurrah of the Porsche 919 Hybrid was dented by Toyota’s determination to outscore their German rivals in the number of victories this season, which they did by scoring the fifth win in Bahrain to end the season on a high. Porsche returned to Le Mans with a car worthy of the overall victory in 2014 after a 16-year hiatus, and it promptly went on to bag three consecutive world titles (manufacturers’ and drivers’) and three Le Mans victories, albeit making the best out of Toyota’s misfortune, especially in 2016. This page of sports car racing history was to have its last lines written this weekend at the final round of the FIA WEC – The Six Hours of Bahrain.
The track in the middle of the desert posed nearly unique challenges in terms of tire management, but Porsche was confident they could score a farewell victory, which would have brought their total tally to a record-breaking 18. Audi, mind you, have gathered 17 between 2012 and 2016 and that’s exactly how much Porsche got between 2014 and 2016. Toyota, meanwhile, had gathered 15 and had the ability to get the 16th in Bahrain, thus derailing Porsche’s final WEC gig. The two teams were, roughly, on equal terms, so who got it?
It wasn’t a matter of championships being decided, at least not in LMP1, since Porsche got the job done with races to spare so, at the top, it was just about the last installment of the Porsche vs. Toyota duel. Lower down the order, however, there was very much still to play for as titles were undecided in LMP2, GTE-Pro, and GTE-Am.
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The Bugatti Chiron’s Tires Are Actually Cheaper Than The Veyrons
It’s a well-known thing in automotive circles that if you own a Bugatti Veyron, the costs of maintaining it over time could be just as expensive as buying it. Annual maintenance for the almighty machine costs $20,000. If you happen to live in a state that charges car property tax, then the cost of simply owning a Veyron will set you back close to $50,000 a year. That’s like buying a Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 every year just because. Then again, none of those costs compare to the ridiculous price of the Veyron’s tires. A fresh set will set you back as much as $40,000, and you’ll only be able to drive them for 2,500 miles because they’ll have to be replaced after that. I bring all of this up because, in a recent interview with CarBuzz, Bugatti Principal Engineer Martin Grabowski revealed that the set of tires on the new Bugatti Chiron is actually much cheaper than the Veyrons. Of course, the Chiron costs three times as much as the Veyron, but I’m not worried about that. It’s those tires that matter!
To put into context, Grabowski said that the Chiron doesn’t use the specially designed Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires that the Veyron used. Instead, Bugatti’s new supercar uses a standard rim geometry and standard mounting process, which means that according to Grabowski, “the tires can be mounted and changed anywhere.” Even better, the tires that the Chiron uses have been reportedly been tested to handle the supercar’s incredible 261-mph top speed, and quite possibly more given that Bugatti is still “testing them to see how far they can go.” And as far as the price goes, it’s expected to be “much cheaper,” according to Grabowski. He didn’t specify the actual price, but don’t be surprised if a set goes for around $20,000, which would make Grabowski’s statement technically true.
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Bridgestone To Begin Offering New Tires For The Jaguar XJ220
What’s that? You desperately want fresh rubber for your 20-plus-year-old supercar? Well, fear not, because Bridgestone is here to help. Working in conjunction with U.K.-based XJ220 specialist Don Law, Bridgestone has announced that it’s developing a next-gen tire for Jag’s decades-old two-seat speed wedge.
For some time now, XJ220 owners have had to tread carefully (see what I did there?) when it came time to actually using the XJ220’s twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6, as appropriately sized tires are no longer in production.
Now, however, following a “coming together of minds” between Bridgestone and Don Law, the tire maker will coordinate a new compound for the uber-kitty, bringing the car’s original chief development engineer and test driver along for the ride. A pre-production XJ220 model will provide the test bed.
“It’s very important to keep such iconic vehicles running today and supporting people like Don Law and his team of expert technicians,” said Christophe de Valroger, Vice President Consumer OE at Bridgestone Trope. “ Technology has moved on significantly in the last 25 years and we believe we will be able to produce a tire that will keep the smile on the face of the enthusiast drivers of the XJ220.”
The plan is to get the tires finished in time for the model’s twenty-fifth anniversary next year.
I think that’s worthy of a burnout, don’t you?
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Labor Day Deals: Winter Tire Shopping
Labor day signals the end of summer for most folks in America, and that means winter conditions are looming. For drivers, that means slushy roads packed with ice and deep snow bank ready to swallow a compact pickup. Thankfully winter tires offer superior traction when temperatures drop and moister accumulates. But winter tires can be pricy and require shop fees to install.
However, there are Labor Day deals to be found.
An article by Consumer Reports says many tire manufactures are running special sales prices during the Labor Day weekend. These deals, when often times comes by rebate credit cards, can run between $50 to $100 in savings. Big name tires shops may also be running special deals on top of any tire brand rebates. Even local mom-and-pops shops may offer some form of Labor Day savings. In this case, it literally pays to shop around.
But good deals aren’t all to look for. Choosing winter tires designed for your particular vehicle is important. Just like with all-season tires, load ratings are important to follow. Large trucks like the Ford Super Duty and Nissan Titan XD may require E-rated tires. Generally speaking, a name-brand retailer or highly regarded online tire retailer should help you with choosing the right tire. However, it’s always best to arm yourself with some knowledge about winter tire purchasing.
We’ve got several articles detailing tire buying and testing. Check them out here.
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Goodyear Debuts Winter Tire Built for SUVs
It might be July, but Goodyear has just released its newest winter tire built specifically for SUVs and crossovers. It’s called the UltraGrip Ice SUV and it promises to offer better extreme cold weather traction than other dedicated winter tires. Yep, it’s supposed to outperform other winter tires when the mercury drops to arctic-type conditions.
Goodyear says the secret is in the rubber compound and complex tread sipping. The compound, called the IceGrip compound, maintains a greater degree of flexibility at extremely low temperatures. This gives the tire a better chance at keeping traction beyond temperatures that most winter tires begin to harden up – and well beyond the point all-season tires become blocks of hardened rubber.
Second only to the compound, tread sipping is the most important aspect of a winter tire. The UltraGrip Ice tire uses angled and interlocking sipes that both grip the road and resist squirming. On top of that, the tire is designed with heavier vehicles in mind. The tread pattern is wider than most winter tires, giving the UltraGrip Ice a larger contact patch for better grip. Goodyear calls this its ActiveGrip Technology.
All this leads to better cornering stability and shorter braking distances – two things critical when driving in snow and ice.
Further helping owners get the most from their tires is Goodyear’s TOP indicator. Small snowflakes are seen in the tread pattern when the tires are new. As they age with mileage, the snowflakes become shallower. When the snowflakes are gone, it’s time to replace the tire. This occurs at roughly 25 percent tread depth. That might sound premature, but tread depth is extremely important at whisking away snow, ice, and water.
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Goodyear’s Eagle-360 Tire Concept
Do you happen to remember the2004 Audi RSQ concept? Well, if you don’t, let me refresh your memory. It was the same car driven by Will Smith early on in the film iRobot as he battled a number of really pissed off robots. The whole RSQ vs. Robots scene was pretty spectacular, but did you notice how the RSQ and those large robot haulers were able to move in almost any direction? In one scene, as the first robot hauler passes the Audi RSQ you can see it rides on these large Spherical tires, and it’s safe to assume that RSQ had the same time of tire hidden behind the metal. It only took 12 years, but at the 86th Geneva International Motor show, GoodYear debuted its concept of the Eagle GT-360 – the tire that the RSQ and those robot haulers needed for unlimited maneuverability.
Along with a conceptual model, Goodyear also released some futuristic specs on the tire that may change the way cars roll, at least until they start flying anyway. Basically, the design is based on the concept of self-driving cars and will allow unlimited maneuverability with an equipped car able to move in all directions. According to Goodyear, this would contribute to safety for passengers and cope with space limitations such as tight parking spaces. Furthermore, the tires would have embedded sensors to communicate road and weather conditions to the vehicle and other vehicles on the road. The sensors would also monitor and regulate tread wear evenly to increase the life of the tire.
Another major feature of the concept is the 3D printed tread and its design. It is printed to mimic the pattern of brain coral and is able to behave like a sponge. Basically, it can stiffen in dry conditions and soften when wet for better performance and aquaplaning resistance. That’s cool and all, but how exactly will the tires be driven and how will they connect to the car? Well, we asked those questions too, so keep reading to find out what we think.
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Burnouts: The Science Behind It, What Goes Wrong, And How To Do It The Right Way
Burnouts. They are a great past time for any guy who has had a car with a little bit of power and a necessary evil for those who like to hit the quarter mile strip on the weekend. It seems pretty easy, right? Slam the gas, let the wheels break loose, steer the car, and hope people stay out of your way. Unfortunately, it’s really not that simple. The internet is littered with videos of “that guy” and the untimely demise of his car because he just didn’t know what he was doing.
See, there is a lot more to burnouts that just having raw power in your hands. There is a science to it, as well as skill. You have to know your car, how to control a skid, and everything has to be just right, or you might end up biting a curb, destroying your car’s drivetrain, hitting another car, or worse. In this article, we’re going to cover the science behind burning out, why things tend to go wrong, and discuss how to do it the right way, so you don’t end up staring in the next viral video of a driver who bites off more he can chew while leaving an auto show.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, I want to start by saying that there is an overwhelming number of burnout fail videos involving Mustangs. I don’t know why that is. I do have an opinion, but we’ll leave that discussion for a more appropriate forum (maybe the comments section below.) That said, I have made it a point to only include one Mustang fail video here so you Ford fans don’t get your panties in a bunch. Other bits we’ll discuss include a Chevy Camaro that eats the curb, a Dodge Charger that loses its nose, a BMW that catches on fire, and a Chevy Corvette that will need a lot more than $600 tires after a failed attempt at burning out. While it might be fun to laugh at the guys here (not that they don’t deserve to be laughed at, at least a little,) the important thing here is to identify what went wrong, why things took a nasty turn, and what you need to know so your car can live to show off another day.
Fiat Chrysler Automobile is rolling out a new program this winter. Chrysler’s long-time parts group, Mopar, is now offering winter wheel and tire packages available at the local dealership level. This marks the first time an automaker is offering such a service.
“Mopar is rolling out our first-ever offering of winter wheel assemblies for those customers who desire a little extra control during the cold weather seasons,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA – Global. “The assemblies arrive ready to install and deliver additional peace of mind, even in areas unaffected by the harshest winter weather.”
This simplistic yet profound program helps keep customer dollars flowing into FCA dealerships rather than going to aftermarket tire shops or online tire retailers. What’s more, FCA dealers take care of all the installation, including programming the Tire Pressure Monitoring System.
Customers can choose their preference of tire from brands including Bridgestone, Goodyear, Yokohama, Pirelli, BF Goodrich, Michelin, and Continental. The winter tires are then mounted on cost-effective steel rims, which are fitted with the required TPMS sensor. Mopar is offering more than 1,100 fitment sizes for many of its vehicles.
The vehicle list includes the Dodge Caravan, Dodge Charger, Chrysler Town & Country, Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300, and Jeep Cherokee. Both the AWD and RWD versions of the Charger and 300 sedans, along with the Cherokee, are included in the fitments.
Prices for the winter wheel and tire packages start at $242 per tire and peak at $292 per tire. Installation is a separate charge.
Come spring, the winter tires can be swapped out for the vehicle’s standard wheel and tire combo. Though FCA doesn’t mention it, the customer is likely responsible for hauling and storing the unused set of tires.
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We’re deep into the throes of March Madness, which means college basketball lovers all over the country are filling out their bracket predictions in anticipation of a new national champion. Now, high-performance and off-road tire manufacturer Nitto is offering car enthusiasts the same opportunity with its “Battle of the Streets” drag racing competition. Get it right, and Nitto might send you to Vegas for an Exotics Racing driving experience, which sure beats the hell out of office bragging rights.
Here’s how it works: from now until March 25th, you can go to battleofthestreets.com to submit your bracket, selecting winners and losers from a pool of sweet sixteen speed machines, narrowing it down to a single, ultimate winner. There are four rounds of competition, with the final shootout taking place April 6th.
The venue of choice is the infamous 6th Street Bridge in downtown Los Angeles, and this competition will be the final production filmed there before the bridge is torn down and replaced. The cars are an assortment of domestic muscle, high-tech imports, and European exotics, some modified, others stock.
“Nitto Tire has always had a deep connection with enthusiasts” said Stephen Leu, Nitto Tire U.S.A.’s Assistant Brand Publishing Manager. “That is why it means so much to us to be able to bring together so many amazing cars to create a bracket tournament-style event just for our gearhead fans. We have gone out of our way to locate some of the rarest and coolest cars for this video and can’t wait to see who comes out on top.”
So then – which car will take the win?
Continue reading to learn more about the Battle of the Streets.