Goodyear exclusive tyre partner for top Dakar Rally teams
The rally continues to be an important event for the brand, with a new partnership with Kamaz-master supporting its new emphasis on global motorsport
Goodyear will be the official tyre supplier to two top teams in the upcoming Dakar Rally. The rally returns to its roots in the desert on 5 January in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and the shift to a new continent presents new challenges to tyre suppliers, drivers and vehicles. The 2020 rally will run over sand dunes, rocky canyons and wadis or dry riverbeds, all on standard truck tyres. Goodyear has a strong record on the rally in recent years, with Petronas De Rooy Iveco occupying podium places, including two first places, with Goodyear as their tyre and development partner.
For the 2019-2020 motorsport season, Goodyear will start a new collaboration with one of the leading automotive racing teams, Kamaz-master. The team has had a successful run on Goodyear 375/90R22.5 Offroad ORD tyres and decided to sign a contract for the entire season. Besides the Dakar rally in Saudi-Arabia, Goodyear will also support the team in the Silkway in China.
“Achieving success in the toughest motorsport disciplines on the planet is possible only if all components of the truck are of the highest quality and perfectly perform their tasks” – said Vladimir Chagin, director of Kamaz-master racing team. “This also applies to tyres: our technical specialists count on the potential and reliability of Goodyear ORD tyres, and we are glad to start official cooperation between the Kamaz-master team and the Goodyear brand — I am sure there are many new achievements to come.”
Petronas De Rooy Iveco meanwhile has a long-term partnership with Goodyear. in addition to two Dakar wins, the team has won the Africa Eco Race and achieved many more podium places. Goodyear states that the successes ultimately prove the performance of the tyres in a variety of extreme conditions.
“Goodyear is closely involved in the pre-testing phase, the input we get from the engineering team is supporting us in optimising the set-up of the vehicle, so the truck and the tyres work seamlessly together. To get the best results, we define how to adapt the tyre pressure in order to optimise the performance and extend the tyre life, as this means sometimes win or lose” explains Henk Van Leuven, team manager of Petronas De Rooy Iveco rally team.
Goodyear Offroad ORD tyres
The Goodyear Offroad ORD is designed to offer off-road traction, increased resistance to damage and advanced robustness in extreme conditions. The tread pattern has very large blocks and combines with an optimised compound to provide high resistance to tearing and cutting, uniform wear, and advanced durability. Deep and wide grooves simplify self-cleaning of the tread and increase traction on a wide variety of surfaces from mud, rough rocks, loose sand and slippery slopes like in mines and quarries.
“Rallies like the Dakar are an ultimate testbed to proof the performance of our standard off-road truck tyres in a very tough environment. The tyre data gathered from testing our products in very challenging and demanding conditions enables us to take our development process to the next level,” says Maciej Szymanski, director marketing for Goodyear commercial tyres in Europe. “This way, we can further optimise the robustness and traction of the Goodyear Offroad ORD tyre, important for fleets that want to maximise uptime in tough day to day off-road operations.”
One of the biggest challenges for the tyres operating within extreme conditions like the Dakar is heat management. Driving at high speed on rocky surfaces and hot sandy dunes makes the temperature inside the tyre rise rapidly. High temperature in the tyres makes them more vulnerable to deformation and tyre damage. Controlling the heat in the tyre can make a difference between finishing the race and being in the top ranks or having to change the tyre and catch up. Teams can manage the heat to a certain extend by reducing the speed or lowering the tyre pressure. A robust carcass and cool running characteristics, as in the Goodyear Offroad ORD tyres, can make them win additional critical time and keep them ahead of the game.
Goodyear has a rich motorsport history in FIA European Truck Racing Championship (ETRC), FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), and NASCAR. In addition to the 14 wins in the Le Mans 24 hours, Goodyear tyres were used to win 368 Formula One Grand Prix – a record that stands unbeaten. The brand is investing heavily in its motorsport activities as part of a wider effort to reposition Goodyear around the world. It said that the Dakar partnerships with two strong teams give it the chance to add more wins to build on the heritage, passion, innovation and technology of Goodyear’s racing history.