Falken will be Formula Drift ‘official’ tire

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — Sumitomo Rubber North America’s Falken brand will be the “official” tire sponsor of Formula Drift this year, building on the brand’s winning the series’ tire manufacturers’ championship last year.

SRNA plans to support Falken’s sponsorship position throughout the season via dealer hospitality, spokesmodel meet and greets, driver autograph signings and a learning center display at its Falken rig at most of the series’ eight rounds.

SRNA also disclosed it’ll be sponsoring six drivers this year — 2011 Formula D Champion Daijiro “Dai” Yoshihara in a Subaru BRZ, Justin Pawlak in a Ford Mustang, Aurimas Bakchis and Matt Field in Nissan 240SXs, and James Deane and Piot Wiek in Nissan Silvia S15s — who will be using an updated version of the Azenis RT615K+ drift tire.

“We’re fully committed to extending our brand and legacy through this great series,” said Nick Fousekis, director, motorsports marketing and events. “Formula Drift has continued to flourish, and Falken has grown with it.”

Read the source article at Tire Business

5 tire firms gearing up for 2017 Formula Drift season

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LONG BEACH, Calif. — Five tire suppliers have firmed up their plans for this year’s Formula Drift series, whose season kicks off March 31-April 1 in the streets of Long Beach in support of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach IndyCar race.

Heading the list is Sumitomo Rubber North America’s Falken brand, which has secured a deal as the official tire sponsor of Formula Drift and is sponsoring six drivers in this year’s championship.

The other tire brands with firm plans for 2017 are Achilles Tire USA, Hankook Tire America Corp., Nexen Tire America Inc. and Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc.

Achilles — a brand owned/controlled by Indonesia’s P.T. Multistrada Arah Sarana — is backing 17 drivers, including five in the top Pro Series.

“Formula DRIFT has been a wonderful partner for our brand in the U.S. and throughout the world,” said Cheralyn Hale, director of marketing for Irvine, Calif.-based Achilles Tire USA.

Read the source article at Tire Business

Falken, Yokohama get Jeep OE fitments

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KRON (March 13, 2017) — FCA Group has selected tires from Sumitomo Rubber North America (SRNA) and Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) as OE fitments on selected versions of the 2017 Jeep Compass, the car maker’s compact four-wheel-drive, four-door hatchback.

FCA has chosen SRNA’s Falken Wildpeak H/T 01A2 as an OE fitment on the “trail-rated” Compass Trailhawk and the all-season Yokohama Geolandar G055 as a fitment on the Compass.

The Falken fitment, in size 215/65R17, is the second fitment for the Wildpeak H/T 01A2 on a 2017 Jeep, according to Sumitomo Rubber North America (SRNA), producer and marketer of the Falken brand. FCA also specs the tire for the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk. Rick Brennan, vice president of marketing for SRNA/Falken Tires, called the Wildpeak a “natural fit” for the Jeep Compass, noting its shoulder designed for optimal handling on multiple surfaces.

Read the source article at Tire Business

Bridgestone, Conti and SRI win at TTI Awards

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Sustainable innovation, and next-generation information and communication technologies were championed at this year’s Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence.

The awards are decided by the votes of a 27-strong panel of experts from the tire industry and academia, with the winners announced last night (Wednesday, February 15) during Tire Technology Expo, at a Gala Dinner at the Hannover Congress Centrum.

This year’s winners are testament to how the latest consumer electronics and cutting-edge information communication technology are being successfully adopted into tire design and manufacturing, yielding great results.

Graham Heeps, editor, Tire Technology International & chairman of the judging panel said: “Cutting-edge sustainability and information technology is more prominent than ever among this year’s winners, showing that the tire industry is at the forefront of high-tech research, development and manufacturing. The judging panel was impressed by the strength in depth among this year’s finalists. Picking the winners gets harder every year!”

Bridgestone was awarded Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year with judges overwhelmingly voting for the brand’s Examation tire assembly system. Examation combines revolutionary artificial intelligence with information and communication technologies, for improved quality and enhanced factory productivity.

Versalis/Genomatica won the Environmental Achievement of the Year award for their long-term project to create renewable butadiene. The companies embarked on the joint venture in a bid to address concerns around potential butadiene shortages and price increases. In a demonstration run in 2016, several kilograms of renewable butadiene were prepared starting from commercial sugars, with polymerization tests showing no differences between the polybutadiene prepared from fossil or renewable feedstock.

Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI, producers of Falken tires) won the Tire Technology of the Year category for a record third time with its Advanced 4D Nano Design, which makes is possible to perform highly realistic simulations of the complex internal structures and behaviours of rubber materials at the nanoscale. The technology is being used to develop next-generation tire materials, including a new tread rubber that doubled the wear performance of SRI’s standard tread rubber from 2011.

The Tire Industry Supplier of the Year award was presented to Harm Voortman, president and CEO, VMI Group. Judges recognized the launch of VMI’s Milexx truck-tire building machine, along with further debuts including its Retrax automated pre-cure tread applicator, Pixxel vision system, and its new manufacturing facility in Leszno, Poland, operational from Q2 2017.

In the hotly contested Tire Manufacturer of the Year category it was Continental who scooped the prize, beating off stiff competition from Hankook, Michelin and Yokohama.

A raft of major R&D and production investments were unveiled by Continental in 2016, with German projects including a new high-performance technical center and a dedicated dandelion-rubber research center. In September, the first truck test tires containing dandelion rubber were revealed, with production expected to follow in 5-10 years.

Two specialist awards were also presented. TU Dresden PhD candidate, Pavel Sarkisov took home the Young Scientist Prize after delivering an impressive conference paper entitled “Optical measurement of tire deformation focused on transient handling properties”. Meanwhile tire materials expert, Gert Heinrich, director of the Institute of Polymer Materials at the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research in Dresden, and Continental’s former head of materials research, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

For more on all the winners, head to www.tiretechnology-expo.com.

Read the source article at Tire Technology International

Falken chosen as OEM for Volkswagen Tiguan

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Brussels – Falken has been chosen to supply original equipment tires for new Volkswagen Tiguan models, as of 1 Jan, Falken Tyre Europe has announced.

The company is supplying Falken Ziex ZE914A Ecorun tires in the dimension 215/65 R17 99V to factory-equip the new vehicles.

The tires, said Falken, were developed to reduce fuel consumption and deliver good handling and braking even in wet road conditions.

According to Falken, tire testers for German motoring magazine Auto Motor und Sport gave the…

Read the source article at European Rubber Journal