Those of you in London and the south of England are advised to look upwards next week, for the Goodyear Blimp is returning to our skies. Goodyear tells us that the Blimp will be above London and the surrounding areas on 11 and 12 May. From there, the icon will travel to Brands Hatch for the second round of the British Touring Car Championship on 14 and 15 May, where it will provide aerial coverage of the race.
Hindsight is said to be 20/20, yet this isn’t a faculty that helped the tyre industry this year. Early optimism driven by vaccine rollouts quickly turned to despair as sideways-parked container ships, skyrocketing sea freight prices, rising material costs and supply shortages delivered blow after blow. As we enter the final quarter of the year we have a much clearer view of what’s going on, and what we see is that tyres will be pricier in the coming months – assuming we can get our hands on them.
Dunlop rider Romain Febvre scored his first Grand Prix win of the FIM Motocross World Championship season at Lommel, Belgium, on Sunday. The Frenchman shared the podium with fellow Dunlop rider Pauls Jonass, who placed third. Both riders tackled one of the championship’s toughest circuits on Dunlop’s Geomax tyres. Dunlop also continued its success in the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship; Shana van der Vlist won the second round of the season, beating six-time champion Kiara Fontanesi to lead a Dunlop 1-2 result. The brand is by far the most successful tyre brand in WMX competition, having taken Fontanesi or Duncan to the championship win in eight of the nine last seasons.
A new manager will lead the Brussels political office of tyre maker and technology company Continental from 1 August 2021. Fadie Al-Masri will succeed Desmond A. Collins, who is retiring at the end of July after nine years in the job.
GRI is supplying tyres to Joskin, the agricultural Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) based in Belgium. Announcing the news at the end of October, Joskin said it has been in operation since 1968 and is one of the world’s leading producers of agricultural trailers, tankers, and related equipment to meet the changing needs of global farmers.
Goodyear is looking forward to recommencing the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps. The tyre manufacturer’s partner teams, Jota Sport and Jackie Chan DC Racing are currently second and third in the LMP2 standings. The former has finished on the podium in the last four rounds, while Jota took a memorable win at Shanghai in November. They will be joined by an additional Goodyear-shod car from Algarve Pro Racing. The Portuguese team usually competes in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) but will step up to the world stage this weekend.
Bridgestone EMIA has resumed production at its European manufacturing plants in Bari (Italy) and Lanklaar (Belgium). The Béthune (France) plant will reopen tomorrow, 21 April 2020. This follows the 14 April news that production in all Bridgestone plants located in Spain (Burgos, Bilbao and Puente San Miguel) and Russia (Ulyanovsk) had recommenced. Today’s announcement means that Bridgestone EMIA’s full manufacturing network has restarted production with the exception of its Indian and South African plants, which remain closed for now.
Bridgestone EMIA will either temporarily close or reduce production plants across its European manufacturing network in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its Béthune plant in France and the Bari plant in Italy will be closed until 6 April.
The European Commission has approved 3.2 billion euros of battery research and development support under EU State aid rules. The funding comes as the result of an Important Project of Common European interest (IPCEI) application jointly notified by Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Sweden to support research and innovation in the common European priority area of batteries.
Marangoni Retreading Systems has expanded its Ringtread business in the Benelux countries. The Italian retreading specialist has entered into a partnership with Kargro Group company Tyre Plan Europe, signing an exclusivity agreement for the use of Marangoni’s retreading technology in the region. Tyre Plan Europe BVBA was established in 1988 in Kalmthout, Belgium and until recently operated as a Bandag franchisee. The newest partner in the Ringtread business has developed into one of the region’s largest pre-cure retreaders over the years.
The year has started well for Deldo Autobanden – the Belgium-based tyre wholesaler says its new warehouse in the Port of Antwerp is now finished and operational, and the facility’s entry into service has effectively doubled stock capacity to more than 2 million tyres. According to Deldo, this added capacity is aiding an expansion of its premium as well as budget segment ranges and offers customers throughout Europe an enhanced ‘just-in-time’ service.