Dunlop partners with GreenGT
At the end of August Dunlop Motorsport announced it will develop tyres for the world's first hydrogen fuel cell racing car. GreenGT H2, as it is known, will compete in the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours, and features electric powertrain technology. Dunlop will be working closely with the team, in its words, to drive tyre technology forward to provide the grip that will maximise the ‘future power’ of motorsport.
According to the company, the hydrogen fuel cell holds potential in powering future motorsport and in order to maximise the grip and energy efficiency of the car, the tyre must be designed specifically to the setup of the car as Jean-Felix Bazelin, General Manager of Dunlop Motorsport explains:
“Electric cars currently present challenges to tyre design – to handle the extra weight of the vehicle, the load capacity of the tyre will need to increase and the drive for energy efficiency means the tyre design will require a lower rolling resistance.
“The high torque characteristics will mean tyres will require a new construction that provides increased longitudinal stiffness. Other challenges for Dunlop are to design a tyre that optimises the advantages of torque vectoring technology, which provides the active differential with the ability to vary the amount of power sent to the wheels. While the suspension can be used to control the vehicle response, torque vectoring focuses on the stability of the car.
“This means the balance of the car can be controlled on different tracks, surfaces and corners. Therefore the tyre compound will be tuned to suit this particular car. To control tyre temperature and wear there will be a possibility to use a softer compound than a conventional car. Also, just as Dunlop has achieved on its latest road tyre, the BluResponse AA concept, a reduction in rolling resistance will maximise the efficiency of the car.”
Team ‘thrilled’ by cooperation
Dunlop’s involvement with GreenGT H2 signals the start of a programme to design specific tyres for enhancing the performance and handling of electric cars, enabling them to drive further with less energy consumed whilst maximising the grip and performance.
“We are thrilled to be involved with the development tyre for the first hydrogen fuel cell Le Mans car. Dunlop’s rich technical expertise and ongoing success in motorsport over the past 125 years means our knowledge will prove invaluable in the challenge of producing the tyre design of the future. The objective is similar to the one achieved by our Dunlop BluResponse AA road tyre which achieved a Grade A for grip and a Grade A for energy efficiency.”