Goodyear is pleased to announce its continued partnership with European Truck Racing Team AssociationTRO (Truck Racing Organisation) for the 2012 season. As well as a multi-faceted managerial role within the FIA Championship series, TRO supplies the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) championship-approved Goodyear Racing tyres to all participants, and provides a full support service.
Istanbul Park, Turkey was the venue for the opening round of the 2012 FIA European Truck Racing Championship. On May 13 the high-powered trucks took to the grid, for the first time in Turkey, for the start of what undoubtedly will be a thrill-filled season.
The distribution of Goodyear Racing truck tyres has been carried out exclusively by TRO since last year. Teams order their tyres via the TRO official website or at the circuit, where TRO staff mount the tyres. The tyres are stored and transported to the circuits by TRO in conjunction with Robineau Logistics. Stock permitting, tyres can also be purchased at the circuits. To ensure that tyres are fairly distributed, a lottery is held by TRO in conjunction with the FIA prior to each race. In this way nobody knows which team will get which tyres until they are drawn.
As well as supplying Goodyear Racing tyres for FIA Championship events, TRO also supplies Goodyear tyres for testing and national truck racing series. At each event, TRO has a dedicated team of tire fitters and a specially equipped service area where fitting and balancing takes place. Tire management is achieved through the use of the RFID (Radio Frequency Identity), enabling the FIA officials to ensure that all entrants comply with the strict tire regulations.
Goodyear has been supplying truck race tyres since 2004. The 315/70R22.5 Goodyear Truck Racing tire is the latest tire supplied, which has been designed and developed exclusively for European truck racing. It is based on the same technology as the Goodyear Regional RHS steer tire with a special tread compound and pattern that give excellent grip and good track life in all conditions. RFID technology, which was first piloted in the tyres used in the British Touring Car Championships, is now standard in all truck race tyres.
Goodyear in Truck Racing
In 2003, Goodyear was approached to see if it was interested in supporting the European Truck Racing Cup, supplying tyres for all participants. Goodyear decided to go ahead as there would be technological lessons learned from the development of such tyres and sales created would offset the high R&D costs. Goodyear involved French tyre supply and service company, FEDIMA, as its partner to ensure not only the supply of tyres for all participants but also technical support at each race.
A three-stage plan was devised by Goodyear. The first stage was to take standard Goodyear Marathon 315/70R22.5 RHS steer axle tyres and ‘buff’ them, reducing tread depth and making them more suitable for racing. This was followed by a development program to create a special compound, which gave better wet and dry grip but which also offered wear characteristics to maximise usage and keep entrants’ costs down.
The resulting tyre performed well in racing and so the final stage commenced. This was to develop a special tread pattern and to manufacture a mold for line production. Another evaluation program took place and, in 2004, this tyre went into production. The Goodyear Marathon RHS-RC, as it was designated, was very successful.
For the 2006 season, a new tyre was introduced called Goodyear Truck Racing. This tyre was specially designed, developed and manufactured to offer the best possible performance to truck race participants. It featured an optimized construction, tread compound and pattern, adapted for the heat, speed and other extreme conditions found on the circuit, whilst at the same time having good wear attributes and excellent grip in all conditions.
This tyre was built with the same carcass as the Goodyear Regional RHS 315/70R22.5. It was optimized to enhance performance, mainly to reduce the risk of overheating and increase lateral rigidity. Additionally, a special tread compound and pattern were used to improve ground contact. The tyre met the quality standards adopted for the entyre range of Goodyear products, conforming to the UNECE Regulation 54.
Further developments took place in 2008 when the Goodyear Racing Drive tyre was produced. This was a retreaded tyre that proved the incredible versatility and durability of retreaded tyres, which in this case coped well with a 5.5 tonne truck traveling up to 160 km/h and ambient temperatures of around 40o Celsius. However, the tyre did not get homologated as the regulations did not permit retreads.
Goodyear has been working on Radio Frequency Identity (RFID) in truck tyres for a number of years and introduced it in truck racing in 2011. All Goodyear Truck Race tyres are now built with RFID. This system is used by Goodyear for tyre management purposes at races and FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) officials use it for regulatory purposes, monitoring tyre usage at every round of the championship.
About Truck Racing
Truck racing in its current form started in 1984, when a race was held at DoningtonPark in the UK. That first race proved so successful that in 1985 the FIA European Truck Racing Championship commenced. Initially, the trucks that raced were regular road-going tractor units but very soon serious modifications saw power outputs rising from a few hundred horsepower to well over 1000. Regulations were soon imposed to ensure that the trucks were not only safe but also emissions were strictly regulated.
The current regulations dictate that all trucks must not exceed 5500 kgs in weight and maximum speed must not exceed 160 km/h. Needless to say, unlike the first racing trucks, the racers have little in common with their road-going counterparts. It is claimed that a race truck can accelerate from 0 – 160 km/h – faster than a Porsche 911 – and the water-cooled brakes and Goodyear tyres mean that they can stop very quickly too.
The regulations state that only tyres approved by the FIA may be used. These must have a width not exceeding 315 mm and a tread depth of 2 mm at the start of practice or a race. Furthermore the speed rating must be L or higher with a load index suitable for 3.5 tonnes or more and all tyres used must be to E.E.C. type approval standard (UNECE Regulation 54) or equivalent.
There are also restrictions on tread pattern but none related to compound. In essence any tyre manufacturer wishing to supply tyres for the FIA European Truck Racing Championship must submit their tyre or tyres to the FIA for approval. The FIA stipulates the reference tyres for the Championship, together with their technical specifications, including their compound. The list of tyres and of the official distributors, who supply the tyres at each event, is published not later than three weeks before the first race. This list may be modified during the season.
The Goodyear Tyre and Rubber Company supplies tyres for race series on every continent. Racing is an important activity for the company as many lessons learned on the racetrack have improved and accelerated the development of road tyres. This technology transfer has led to many significant innovations related to construction, materials and tread design as well as playing a role in the development of engineers.
Truck Racing 2012
As well as holding a round of the Championship in Turkey for the first time, the other main change for 2012 is that the Spanish round traditionally held at Albacete will be relocated to Jarama, which means that the Madrid circuit will now host two events in 2012.
Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tyre companies. It employs approximately 73 000 people and manufactures its products in 54 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry.
Goodyear Europe’s range of tyres for commercial vehicles, buses and coaches includes more than 400 different tyres covering in excess of 55 sizes. Many of the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers fit tyres from Goodyear as standard, including DAF, Iveco, MAN, Mercedes-Benz, Renault Trucks, Scania and Volvo. Goodyear also supplies tyres to all major trailer manufacturers.