“Motorsport Remains our Mobile Laboratory”
Looking back on its year in motorsport, Marangoni reflects that racing has oftentimes given the company opportunities to push forward commercial and technological developments in a competitive forum. From the toughest of endurance racing, through specialist events and one-make championships, to the mountain hill climbs of Italy, Marangoni rubber has again taken a number of podiums.
However Derek Carruthers, global sales and marketing director believes that race victories are only one form of success: “Again this season, Marangoni has been performing in various motorsport disciplines and helping drivers to achieve impressive results. Motorsport remains our mobile laboratory, with tyre development opportunities through competitive use translating into tangible technical advances in our road tyres. Our communication strategy to the consumer is that your tyres have been developed and continue to be proven in some of the toughest motorsport disciplines, delivering total performance whatever the drive and whatever the conditions. This is a substantiated claim that our Team Marangoni colleagues can communicate with total confidence.”
A highlight of the Marangoni competition programme was the ADAC 24-hour race at the world famous Nürburgring; arguably one of the toughest races on the International calendar. The official Marangoni entry was the bespoke Fiat 500 development car prepared by Engstler Motorsport in Germany. The smallest and least powerful car in this most demanding of endurance races – run on the intimidating Nordschleife and the current Nürburgring – triumphantly defied the odds and showed the racing credentials of the Marangoni Zeta Linea race tyres. Battling against typical ‘Ring’ racing conditions, including heavy rain, many fancied entries were forced into retirement. Yet the Marangoni team of four international drivers brought the little car home to a successful finish with high praise for the Zeta Lineas and the hand-cut rain tyres.
In contrast, the British Drift Championship is growing massively in popularity, with top contender Chris Bradbury partnered throughout 2008 by Marangoni. This action-packed series saw Bradbury competing at the top level, first in his Nissan 200 SX S 14.5 and subsequently in his newly acquired Nissan PS13 Silvia. Alongside the work done on the car by his team, the performance on its Marangoni Mythos tyres has been superb, while the response from this new audience has been unanimously positive.
Marangoni has performed very well in the Italian and European Hillclimb Championships of recent years (three Italian titles in 2004, 2006 and 2007 and one European Championship in 2005) and – though Marangoni has called 2008 a development year for Simone Faggioli and his new F3000-powered sportscar – the team delivered four consecutive second places. According to Marangoni tyre development of the Zeta Linea race and wet weather tyres is continuing for 2009 to build on this season’s results. For good measure, Marangoni posted the first three finishers in Class CN2 this year, all running Zeta Linea racing tyres.
Fresh from his triumphant drive in the Nürburgring Fiat 500, Nathan Freke added yet more Marangoni success in Ten of the Best – a speed event where all competitors’ vehicles have to be road legal with MOT, Insurance and Tax. In his Century Motorsport-prepared Toyota MR2 Turbo (shod with Marangoni Zeta Linea tyres) he followed his 2007 European best time in the Mile Drag section with another dominant Class win. The only rear wheel drive car in the Top 20, Freke posted the 12th fastest time overall against 4-wheel drive competition, netting a haul of Fastest RWD Time, Fastest RWD Turbo Car and Fastest Japanese RWD in addition to his RWD Drag Race Shootout Championship win. Pitting his Marangoni Zeta Linea tyres against the opposition in the Standing Kilometre, Freke and the MR2 posted 7th overall across all classes.
Back in Italy, the Fiat 500 Championship has recently named Marangoni as the control tyre supplier for the new series, following successful campaigns in the Mazda RX-8 Championship and the Nissan 350Z Challenge.
Carruthers concludes, “What makes the Marangoni Motorsport campaign so relevant to our retail customers is that they have real proof of the performance difference of Marangoni tyres. Audiences at such different events as the Nürburgring 24 Hours and the British Drift Championship can see the positive benefits that Marangoni delivers. Simply fit the tyres to maximise performance – the proof is on the results sheets. Against other makes, including some with huge competition pedigree, Marangoni keeps on posting results that matter – it’s the unbeatable, cost-effective choice in an increasingly tough market.”