After showcasing its ability on sand in the course of the 2018 Dakar’s first 11 stages, the BFGoodrich® KDR2+ rose supremely to the challenge of the muddy terrain it faced on the marathon stage that took competitors from La Paz to Uyuni, then on to Tupiza before navigating the thorns of the legendary super stage of Fiambala.
“The way the KDR2+ performed on Saturday and Sunday vindicates what we saw in testing,” confirmed Matt Hanlon, the engineer tasked with the new tyre’s development. “Its modified tread pattern has no trouble clearing mud. Thanks to its chunkier blocks and wider grooves, the mud doesn’t get packed in the tread. It forms a skin that makes the tyre’s surface totally smooth and keeps the car on the move.”
His sentiments were echoed by team owners and competitors alike.
“The BFGoodrich® KDR2+ is an enormous step forward in mud,” enthused Hall Speed-owner and Toyota Gazoo Racing team manager Glen Hall.
“We’ve got grip now,” added Jakub Przygonski’s co-driver Tom Colsoul (Mini 4WD). “It’s an incredible tyre. Where others failed, the KDR2+ is 200 percent safer.”
The only issue is that this invention effaces the advantage the two-wheel drive vehicles formerly had in muddy conditions. The 4x4s are now on the same footing as their 2WD rivals.
On the finish of the marathon Peugeot’s Stéphane Peterhansel said, “I have to say that our BF Goodrich tyres have been really strong. When I look at the speeds with which we drive through the thorny sections (of Fiambala) it’s incredible that we didn’t get any punctures.”
This performance is a positive pointer ahead of tomorrow’s mammoth 523km stage against the clock for the cars and trucks. With the navigation challenges as tough as ever, competition will be fierce as the Dakar convoy moves onto its penultimate bivouac as the competition transfers to San Juan.
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