BFGoodrich® runners monopolize 2018 Dakar podium
Widespread praise for the new BFGoodrich® All Terrain T/A KDR2+ from teams and drivers
“When I look at the speeds with which we drive through the thorny sections, it’s incredible that we didn’t get any punctures!”
Designed especially for the 2018 Dakar, BFGoodrich®’s latest cross-country rally tire and the high number of new technologies it packs lived up to their promise by delivering a winning combination of performance, strength and mobility over the sand, mud and rocks – some very sharp – that competitors were exposed to in the course of the annual off-road classic.
New anti-puncture system derived from aviation tyre technology
The secret behind the new tyre’s exceptional success lay in the pooling of a new technology developed initially for aviation tyres by the Michelin Group, to which the BFGoodrich® brand belongs. Airplane passengers have benefited from the French firm’s capacity for innovation throughout its history and founders André and Edouard Michelin were both passionate about flying. In the early 2000s, the company introduced its new NZG (Near Zero Growth) disruptive aviation tire technology, and it was thanks to the low weight and strength of the resulting MICHELIN Air X NZG that the Concorde was able to take to the skies again after the supersonic jet’s tragic crash near Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport in July 2000.
“Michelin’s ability to pool its innovations across the entire Group is unique in today’s tyre industry,” said Nicolas Goubert, Technical Director and Deputy Director of Michelin Motorsport. “Our American teams designed the new BFGoodrich® All Terrain T/A KDR2+ to test the efficiency of our antipuncture systems in extreme conditions and the result couldn’t have been more satisfactory. We use motorsport as a laboratory to either test new technologies or, as was the case on this year’s Dakar, put technologies we master in other areas through their paces with a view to applying them to new fields, including road tyres.”
Zero punctures reported by the Dakar’s two-wheel drive runners
For the first time in Dakar history, none of the runners in the two-wheel drive class reported any tyrepressure losses due to perforations, in spite of the repeated knocks inherent in the event and the sharp rocks and objects to which they were exposed. This sort of challenge has always been part and parcel of the Dakar and, until now, has invariably taken its toll on even the most robust tyres. This year, this exceptional feat was achieved by BFGoodrich® despite the terrain-related punishment that the crews, cars and tyres were forced to contend with throughout the 2018 rally.
Performance on sand and mud
In addition to its ability to resist punctures, the two other qualities that the development team behind the new BFGoodrich® All Terrain T/A KDR2+ were intent on delivering were efficient traction on soft ground and enhanced mud-clearance capacity.
“The way the BFGoodrich® All Terrain T/A KDR2+ performed on this year’s Dakar replicated what we saw in testing,” confirmed Matt Hanlon, the engineer in charge of the new tyre’s development. “Thanks to this new tyre’s bigger tread blocks and wider grooves, mud didn’t get packed in the tread. When this happens, a film can form that makes the tyre’s surface completely smooth, but the BFGoodrich® All Terrain T/A KDR2+’s tread pattern had no trouble clearing the mud and keeping our partners’ cars on the move.”
“The KDR2+ is an enormous step forward…”, “We’ve got grip…”, “An incredible tyre…”, “Where others failed, the KDR2+ is 200 percent safer…” figured amongst the accolades expressed by the drivers and management of the Mini and Toyota teams, for example.
One-two-three glory for BFGoodrich® on the 2018 Dakar
The 2018 Dakar’s top three was monopolized by BFGoodrich® runners, led by the Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi of former World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz, along with Toyota Hilux drivers Nasser Al-Attiyah and Giniel de Villiers who completed the distance in second and third places.
“I would like to congratulate all our partners on the performances they produced on the 2018 Dakar, especially Team Peugeot Total and Toyota Gazoo Racing who made it an all-BFGoodrich® podium,” said Anne-Sophie Jarrige, BFGoodrich®’s Dakar program manager. “The 40th -edition Dakar lived up every bit to its promise with plenty of spectacular action and drama. We are particularly proud of the role that was played by the technicians and fitters who worked out of the BFGoodrich® Service Center to provide competitors with technical support throughout the event.”
About BFGoodrich® Tires
With more than 100 years of heritage, the BFGoodrich® brand is dedicated to providing high performance tyres for those who have a passion for driving in virtually any environment. Combining technical expertise with 45 years of motorsports experience, BFGoodrich® delivers tyres for a full range of driving experiences from ultra-high performance street to off-road terrain with one common theme – extreme performance. For all information about BFGoodrich® tires please visit www.BFGoodrich.com.