ERJ Top Five: Racing Rubber
ERJ staff report (TP)
Smithers Rapra ... Yokohama Rubber ... Linglong ... Kumho ... Michelin
1. US rubber technology expert Smithers Rapra is sponsoring the University of Michigan’s Formula SAE team (pictured above). MRacing, Michigan’s team, will gather lab data about tire performance and configure optimal construction specifications for the team’s 2015 formula style racecar. Smithers Rapra’s Force and Moment tire testing service was used – to look at stresses and motions in tire footprints, and more. Formula SAE is an annual engineering series in which students organise, manage and fund a motorsport team that will design, build and race a new open-wheeled prototype racecar to compete with other universities. MRacing Formula SAE, in its 28th year, finished eighth in the 2014 FSAE Michigan event in May and ninth in the 2014 FSAE Lincoln event in June. The team is competing in the 2014 FSAE Germany through August.
2. Yokohama Rubber is supporting the team led by Takuma Aoki participating in the 19th Asia Cross Country Rally the largest FIA-certified cross country rally held in Asia. Yokohama Rubber’s support will include supplying Geolandar tires for the team’s car and Medi-Air air-cell cushion to reduce the burden on the lower body of the driver, Takuma Aoki, who is paralysed from the waist down. This year’s race will start in Pattaya, Thailand, on 9 August and runs through to 15 August with the finish line in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
3. Linglong Group hosted the second stage of the '2014 China Super Truck Racing' event in Zhaoyuan, 23-25 July. The event was broadcast live on CCTV-5. Wei Hao from Linglong Tire Team won the individual championship.
4. The 16-year-old Dutch motor racing driver Max Verstappen was victorious in the 2014 Zandvoort Masters race in July. Former winners of this event include Formula One stars Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hülkenberg, and Max’s father Jos Verstappen, who was victorious in 1993 and subsequently drove in F1 for the Benetton and Tyrrell teams, among others. Jos and Max are the first father and son to both win what is one of Europe’s top single-seater races. Kumho have been the sole tire supplier for this event since 2002 and supplied a full complement of slick and wet tires to the same specification that had proved itself in 2013.
5. Organisers of the MotoGP World Championship for motorcycles named Michelin as the series’ sole tire supplier starting in 2016, when the series will switch to a 17-inch wheel spec. Michelin will succeed Bridgestone Corp. as the series’ spec tire supplier. Bridgestone disclosed recently it was bowing out of the competition after the 2015 season, ending a 13-year run of being active in motorcycling top racing series. Madrid-based Dorna Sports SL, promoter and organiser of the MotoGP World Championship, which is sanctioned by the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme, did not disclose the length of its contract with Michelin nor financial terms.