From Dakar to Loton Park on Cooper Avon tyres
2012 saw champions crowned on Cooper Tires and Avon Tyres racing products in over 250 motor racing championships around the globe. In addition to the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 Series and the Avon Tyres British GT Championship (see Tyres & Accessories’ October issue for details), Cooper Avon added the Avon Tyres MSA British Hillclimb Championship to its roster of major motorsport activations. General Motorsport manager at Cooper Tire Europe, Paul Coates, reflected: “It’s been another phenomenal year for Cooper and Avon’s involvement in motorsport. Supplying tyres to an array of vehicles across the world, we’ve witnessed great racing and some extremely close-fought championship battles in 2012 and we’re already looking forward to another fruitful year in 2013.”
In the MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Avon says it has added its support to one of the UK’s leading grassroots motorsport championships. The series was characterised by a season-long battle between triple British Hillclimb Champion, Scott Moran and Trevor Willis. Moran’s decision to miss four mid-season rounds allowed Willis to capitalise, taking a number of hill records and wins to build a sizeable lead.
Despite a power advantage over Willis’s Powertec-powered OMS 25, Moran had no answer to his sparring partner and, as the duo entered the final two rounds of the championship at Loton Park, only two wins and a hill record would be enough for Moran to take his fourth British Hillclimb title. Triumph for Willis in the first run-off meant it was all over and, in Avon’s inaugural year of British Hillclimb sponsorship, a new champion was crowned.
Cooper driver at the Dakar Rally
Catalan rally star, Xavi Foj completed the Dakar Rally for an incredible 22nd time in 2012 and, since 2010, Cooper has been Foj’s tyre of choice. This year saw Foj switch from the Cooper Discoverer STT tyre to the newer S/T Maxx, which provides better adaptation for sandy soils and stood up to the searing temperatures of the desert without any signs of damage. Foj said he would happily drive the S/T Maxx tyres ‘to the ends of the earth.’
Joining Foj on Cooper rubber for the 2013 Dakar Rally will be the Race2Recovery team, which will also be using Cooper rubber. The team is to enter four Qt Wildcats into the 2013 Dakar Rally as they aim to complete the 9,000-kilometre course in 15 days. Cooper Tire is an official supporter of the team, which is predominantly made up of injured servicemen.
Cooper Avon in Rallycross
Cooper tyres are often used by competitors in the world’s leading Rallycross Championship. Events are held across a range of challenging surfaces and Cooper’s ACB11 tyres have become the favoured tyre thanks to superior traction on asphalt and gravel surfaces in both wet and dry conditions. This year, nine-time World Rally Champion, Sébastien Loeb took part in his first ever X Games Rallycross Final, dominating the event on Cooper tyres.
Avon tyres are frequently used in the burgeoning European Rallycross Championship, with the vast majority of frontrunners opting for Avon rubber, including Timur Timerzyanov, who clinched the SuperCars title for 2012.
Cooper Tires-backed rally ace, Jean-Louis Schlesser, continues to enjoy great success in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies. He runs Cooper Discover STT rubber across some of the most challenging rally terrains on earth, currently lying second in the overall championship.
In track action, 2012 saw Avon Tyres become the official tyre supplier of the Italian GT Championship. The Coggiola brothers – Victor and Giovanni – this year became back-to-back champions in the GT2 class driving a Porsche 997. Avon also agreed a three-year deal to become the sole tyre supplier to the Dutch GT4 Championship.