28.03.2009

BFGoodrich seasonal preview

BFGoodrich abides by the endurance race championship “Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring” as naming partner and sponsor in 2009, too. The tyre specialist – amongst others well known for its sporting road tyres of the g-Force Profiler family - and the most popular race series of Europe thus start into their ninth common season. In addition, BFGoodrich will this year again be ready to offer advice and practical support to selected teams – as for example in the capacity of the tyre supplier for the two Corvette of Kissling Motorsport or for the biodiesel project of “Four Motors” and for the team of “Fanta 4” rapper Smudo.

The Nürburgring endurance race championship, with BFGoodrich as naming partner already since 2001, has a unique history of 33 years now. The outstanding success is amongst others due to the 25.000 or more spectators which quite often gather around the legendary Eifel circuit and the impressive field frequently counting not less than 200 mostly very spectacular race cars. The formula for this series which is equally popular both with the fans and the drivers, though, is quite easy: The combination of regulations which avoid too many restrictions and the possibility to participate with a low budget provides a complete and varied starting grid to race around the most beautiful circuit of the world – the legendary “Green Hell”. The result confirms the success of this concept.

From David to Goliath: Multicoloured starting field shall provide great suspense
In 2009, the BFGoodrich Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring will follow its successful formula. Ten races – all over the distance of four hours except for the 6 Hour Race ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen – shall provide great suspense again along the Nordschleife and the short connection of the Grand Prix Circuit. And there is again an increase in the variety of race cars: They include the series production and low cost VLN series cars, continue with a real crowd of fast BMW M3 and Porsche 911, up to the exotic racing cars such as the ten cylinder Lamborghini Gallado, the new Audi R8 GT3, the spectacular Corvette C6.SP or the genuine Aston Martin. A feast along the track both for eyes and ears is guaranteed.

BFGoodrich is not only the naming partner for this race series with the biggest field in Europe but is engaged in many more ways. The company’s logo will again be displayed on the start number panels of the racing cars – clearly visible from the distance – and on the overalls of all the drivers. The tyre specialist also exploits its commitment to the championship for brand engagement and promotion. During the past years, hundreds of national and international guests thus came to the Nürburgring upon invitation of BFGoodrich to witness on-site the passion with which the tyre manufacturer lives and loves motor sport. The partnership with the Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring finally has also definitely a positive effect on the consumer side regarding the sporting image of the series products.

Partner both of young talents and of overall winner candidates
In 2009 again, BFGoodrich offers direct support to individual teams as tyre partner – and underlines its comprehensive approach to motor sport with its selection. Example promotion of young drivers: As partner of the VLN Honda Junior-Team, the American tyre specialist will support three young talents this year again in providing them the possibility to start their racing career with a reasonable budget. The Honda Civic Type-R entered by the team of the University of Applied Sciences of Cologne – sort of the worldwide fastest auditorium – will be driven by students Tim Scheerbarth from Dormagen and the brothers Dennis and Kristian Nägele from Lauterstein. The Honda Civic Cup 2009 will in 2009 also again run on BFGoodrich racing tyres.

Example alternative fuels: BFGoodrich continues to support the fascinating BioConcept project of “Four Motors” and thus gives a clear statement in relation to environment protection. Whereas the team of the popular rapper Smudo last year raced in a Mustang GT RTD with biodiesel engine and with many bodywork parts made of regrowing materials, they will this season use a breathtaking Renault Mégane Trophy. Its biofuel of the second generation is based on natural resources which are not at all in competition with foodstuff production – this combination providing performance and driving pleasure as well as a positive ecological balance. Racing enthusiast “Fanta 4” band member Smudo himself will again drive the “green” rear wheel driven race car with central engine.

Example top-class racing: Kissling Motorsport will enter two of its about 600 HP strong Corvette C6.SP painted in BFGoodrich colours and completely revised and improved during winter. The first drivers’ trio has been nominated: The team based at Bad Müstereifel is composed of drivers Reinhold Renger (Rothenburg), Roland Rehfeld (Blankenfelde) and Reinhold Mölig (Waldalgesheim), thus constituting a combination of experience and speed. The second V8 front engine racing car with a capacity of 6.2 litres will probably be driven by Hannu Luostarinen, Volker Strycek and Stefan Kissling.

”With these partnerships within our engagement for the BFGoodrich Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring, we represent the whole world of motor sport”, says Heike Graef, responsible for Sponsoring Car, Truck and Commercial Vehicle Tyres of the Michelin Reifenwerke AG & Co. “We support promising talents in the VLN Honda Junior-Team, together with Four Motors we promote the establishment of biofuels in racing sport and with the Kissling-Corvette we should also have a say in the fight for the overall victory – a proof that BFGoodrich and motor sport are inseparably linked together.”

The technical challenge of the Nordschleife
The traditional German circuit of the almost 25 kilometres long Nordschleife does not only represent an exciting challenge for the drivers but also for their racing partners: Nowhere else on the world is there such a variety of challenges in one and the same lap as at the famous “Green Hell”. Passages such as “Hatzenbach” or the area of “Aremberg” up to the “Bergwerk” – permanent acceleration, braking and centrifugal forces make extreme demands on the tyres to cope with – alternate with comparatively easy rolling passages (access to “Kesselchen”, “Döttinger Höhe”) where the tyres can cool down again. A great number of surface changes put the car balance to the test and bumpy passages result in additional wear when the driven wheels are spinning again and again for short periods.

A perfect set-up of the suspension whilst using the utmost of the tyre potential is an absolute must especially at the Nordschleife. If, for example, the adjustment is too aggressive through the set-up of the camber or the toe-out, the tyre tread risks to overheat at corners such as the “Bergwerk” and to wear out much quicker. On the other side, a quick front-wheel driven race car such as the Honda Civic Type-R may well be adjusted so that more than two seven lap turns – so more than 350 kilometres (!) – can be covered with only one set of tyres. The secrets: Much suspension travel to keep the tyre on the ground on bumpy sections, camber as neutral as possible not to overcharge the interior of the tyres and a reasonable tyre pressure for a permanent perfect grip to avoid spinning. And there is another peculiarity of the legendary Nordschleife: Tyres which shall last over the distances required in the BFGoodrich Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring may never be too soft. This means: It will take a little longer for the drivers to get their tyres onto perfect running temperature.

These and further information on the complete range of the BFGoodrich Tires motor sport engagement is also available at www.bfgoodrichtires.de.

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