Turin, Italy – Pirelli is celebrating “110 Years of Motorsport” this year. Renowned for supplying top racing teams with high-performance tires, Pirelli first entered the motorsport world back at the end of the 19th century when the company’s founder, Giovanni Battista Pirelli, realized that motorbike races could serve as a testing ground for his consumer level products.
Pirelli tire officials are confident Formula 1 fans will see more overtaking, more speed and fewer pit stops in 2017.
Some are worried that, as downforce increases dramatically this year, the shorter braking distances could mean much less overtaking. But a key criticism of F1 in the past few years is that the overtaking aid Drag Reduction System has ramped up artificial passing to the point that it is hurting the show.
Pirelli racing manager Mario Isola told the Spanish sports daily Marca, “Logic says there will be fewer overtakes, but they will be real. There will be no discussions for hours about whether the move was real or assisted. But also the show is not only in overtaking.”
Indeed, some believe that a big step forward this year will be the simplicity of the racing, helped by tires that degrade less and are less prone to overheating.
Shannon Campbell , Wayland Campbell and Jason Scherer swept the podium of the 2017 race. Shannon Campbell is the first racer to have won the King of the Hammers race three times. Erik Miller , JP Gomez, and Josh Blyler made up the rest of the top six. This year’s race was one of the closest in KOH history with Shannon Campbell finishing just 28 seconds ahead of his son Wayland.
INDIANAPOLIS—The organizers of the Verizon IndyCar Series and Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations L.L.C. have extended Bridgestone’s contract to supply the series with Firestone racing tires beyond the 2018 season.
The partners did not disclose the length of the extension, but did note that is a “multiyear” contract. Financial terms also were not made available.
In 2012, Bridgestone and IndyCar extended the contract through the 2018 season, continuing a partnership between the two entities that began in 1996.
“Firestone is part of the fabric of IndyCar and its commitment to evolving performance, innovation and safety in the Verizon IndyCar Series has been remarkable,” said Jay Frye, IndyCar president of competition and operations.
“The Firestone brand has been part of our sport for more than 100 years and continues to be an integral partner in the growth of IndyCar on and off the racetrack.”
Lisa Boggs, director of motorsports, Bridgestone Americas, said, “This partnership is integral to our marketing initiatives as it allows us to engage with fans via the unique, multi-faceted platform that the Verizon IndyCar Series provides, and we look forward to building upon the brand’s time-tested racing legacy.”
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Pirelli has warned that improving its much-criticised wet weather rubber will not be made easier by F1’s adoption of wider tyres in 2017.
The sport’s official tyre supplier is seeking a recent-specification F1 car to conduct further tests of its wet weather product. Last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix prompted further complaints from drivers about aquaplaning.
“You can imagine wet tyres, we’re going wider, and that’s not a direction you want to go in when you’re trying to do wet tyre performance,” Hembery admitted in an interview at the Autosport International show.
Pirelli conducted three wet weather tests for its 2017 compounds last year but Hembery says the development programme needs to go on.
“We’re working actually on an ongoing development during the season, which is something we’re allowed to do this time around, before we weren’t able to test at all,” he said.
Roborace Ltd., a new venture working to develop a series for driverless race cars, has named Michelin Motorsports its official tire partner.
Roborace, which recently completed a successful test of its technology with a prototype “mule,” hopes to be able to field a series starting this year.
Michelin Motorsports said it will use “next-generation” road-going tires for the series, which will run as a companion to the Formula E electric racing series now in its third season and for which Michelin is the spec tire supplier.
MILAN—Pirelli Tyre S.p.A. has struck multi-year deals with the International Ski Federation (FIS) and International Ice Hockey Federation to sponsor their respective world championships through 2021.
The sponsorship deal with FIS starts with the 2017 championship in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and includes the events in Are, Sweden, in 2019 and Cortina, Italy, in 2021.
Financial terms were not disclosed for either deal.
FIS expects 600 athletes from 70 nations to be competing at the St. Moritz event, with an international television audience of more than 1 billion viewers, Pirelli said.
The 2017 endurance season kicks off with the Hankook 24H Dubai on 12 to 14 January, and the 24-hour race in the United Arab Emirates also represents the first stop for the 24H Series powered by Hankook, which the company has supported as exclusive tyre partner and title sponsor since 2014. The 24-hour series comprises a total of seven rounds, with four 24-hour races and three 12-hour races.
Hankook Tire’s preparations for the start of the season began last November. Almost 10,000 race tyres – 7,000 slicks and 2,500 rain tyres – were loaded onto a ship and sent on their way to Dubai. The “black gold” arrived last Saturday. In order to be able to offer all the teams perfect service at all times, roughly 50 employees will be in action for the exclusive tyre partner at the Dubai Autodrome.
“Our mechanics will be working in three shifts on five assembly lines. The Hankook race engineers will be available at all times, should the teams have any issues regarding the tyres and set-up,” comments Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook motorsport director Europe. “As at all the rounds of the 24H Series powered by Hankook, we are providing one standard compound for all tyre sizes at the season-opener in Dubai. As such, we are, as much as possible, ensuring everyone in the field has the same opportunity.”
Yokohama Rubber has confirmed its exhibition presence at the Tokyo Auto Salon 2017, which will be held at Makuhari Messe between 13 and 15 January. The Yokohama exhibit will feature booths dedicated to tyres and alloy wheels, with the spotlight particularly thrown upon the company’s Advan global flagship brand by the presence of two Advan-shod racing cars.
The race cars in question are a 2016 championship car in Asia’s ultimate formula racing car series, the Japanese Super Formula Championship Series, which from 2016 is being run solely on Advan tyres, and the Kondo Racing car that one two races in Super GT500, the top class of Japan’s GT series last year. Visitors will be able to meet and talk with drivers from both series. Advan tyre products being featured at the Tokyo Auto Salon include Yokohama’s global flagship tyre, the Advan Sport V105 street sports tyre, and the high performance Advan Fleva V701.