Interstate invites customers to drive in Arctic circle challenge
Earlier this year, when the weather in Ivalo, Finland was more inclement than it normally is 300 kilometres north of the Artic circle, The Interstate Tire & Rubber Company held is fourth winter tyre customer event. Ice cold temperatures, 1.5 metres of fresh snow, the Northern Lights and excellent test facilities at the Testworld tyre and vehicle proving ground certainly providing an excellent environment to test the company’s products.
Interstate reports that it invited a number of key customers and suppliers to join in with the testing of its latest products – the Interstate Winter IWT-2 EVO and the Winterclaw ExtremeGrip. All tyres were tested by Testworld independently against the previous patterns but also against the latest patterns of premium brands. Participants came from all over the world, including Germany, UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, China and Israel.
The Interstate testing event also gave customers the chance to see how the tyres are tested and what the results look like. After that they had the opportunity to drive themselves and feel the differences on various surfaces.
The Interstate Test event started in The Netherlands, at Interstate’s own test facility “Slotemakers” at the National racetrack in Zandvoort, a leading facility and advanced racing school. The test track is unique and contains various surfaces to facilitate all kind of road tests. Skid pads, hill climbing, wet circle, dry circle, braking, aquaplaning, noise and handling.
The event was kicked off by Interstate’s long-term PR representative Jan Lammers who is one of Netherlands most famous race drivers and also driven in Formula 1. In addition company executives Gerard van Oers and Theo de Vries of Interstate Tires welcomed guests and introduced the brand new winter tyres.
The first day was used to test the tyres’ wet braking, a very important issue in Europe, the rest of the day was spent for wet handling and various test on the skid pad. At the end of the day participants joined Jan Lammers in some laps around the circuit.
Theo de Vries, Interstate’s vice president worldwide manufacturing and sales head said: “The Interstate winter tyre test event was created as a result of Interstate’s experience during its worldwide testing of prototypes and different compounds. The idea for the Interstate event began in the winter of 2005 – the aim was to create an event combining technical testing and at the same time let the Interstate distributors experience the new tyres and driving skills with sporting endeavour.”
According to the company, the IWT-2 EVO’s improvement in lap time over a competitor’s winter tyre was greater than the difference between the IWT-1 and IWT-2, confirming Interstate’s suspicions of “the vast differentiation in traction between these two categories of winter tyre.” On the dry skidpad the tyre reportedly generated 0.80G. Wet performance was said to be similar to the best (premium) competitors brand, requiring 48.1 metres to stop.
The new IWT-2 EVO also features a tapered diagonal groove to improve the tyre’s self-cleaning capacity, and with the introduction of a new tread compound its performance in both wet, dry and winter conditions has been significantly improved in comparison with its successful predecessor.
Thanks to its sophisticated new profile design, the IWT-2 EVO is also quieter than its predecessors. Moreover, its rubber composition is almost completely free from oils containing PCAs, which pollute the environment. The rolling resistance has also been reduced with this new compound.
And by adding an extra shoulder groove to a winter tyre, Interstate has made sure that the wear pattern remains constant and even throughout the tyre’s whole life. This makes the tyre even more durable as well as quieter.
The Interstate winter tyre program now offers more than 120 unique sizes in both studless and studable options.