Multiple-championship winning tyre manufacturer Dunlop Motorsport celebrates the future power of motorsport at Silverstone today, highlighting that new fuel solution technologies can only be optimised with new tyre design concepts. The Birmingham based tyre manufacturer is announcing that is embarking on a specific development programme to cater for future generations of electric and hydrogen powered race cars.
This announcement coincides with the UK round of the FIA World Endurance Championship where GreenGT H2, the first Hydrogen Fuel Cell Le Mans car, will be unveiled to British media. Dunlop Motorsport will be explaining the science behind its motorsport tires and how they are developed for specific applications including future technology vehicles like the GreenGT H2.
As Sebastien Montet, Race Design & Development manager for Dunlop Motorsport explains, there are three main challenges for tire designers to overcome that will drive tire design for the future power of motorsport:
“With vehicles such as the GreenGT H2 we need to think about the vehicle weight, different engine characteristics and an improvement in fuel efficiency. A change in vehicle weight will mean an increase in the forces carried by the tire, different engine torque characteristics mean the tires require an increase in longitudinal stiffness, and improved fuel efficiency will be optimized in lower rolling resistance in the tires we design.”
Montet adds: “Torque vectoring cornering control is often seen as the ‘Hand of God’ for corner capabilities on the track and the road in the future, but the substantial benefits of this technology counts for nothing without the appropriate tire design.
“Whilst the lateral torque distribution control unequally distributes the engine torque to the left and right wheels, torque vectoring technology provides the differential with the ability to vary the amount of power sent to each wheel which results in optimum lateral acceleration. The suspension can therefore be used to control the vehicle response whereas the torque vectoring focuses on the stability.”
The impacts of tyre design
“Looking at the tire compound alone, the optimum balance of the car controlled on different tracks, surfaces and corners as well as factors such as controlling of wear, reduced uneven wear, the controlling of tire temperature and reduced rolling resistance will all be determined by the compound that is used. To achieve the best results, compound needs to be optimised for each track. Dunlop has developed a ‘circuit characterisation’ process that uses lap time simulation to assess the work done by each tire and define a baseline compound layout for each circuit. The use of different torque vectoring maps on a specific car could help or lead to rebalance compound and setup choices for each specific track,” explains Montet.
Race to road
Dunlop Motorsport will supply over 250,000 tyres over the course of the season to over 500 different racing teams across more than 30 different championships worldwide from their Birmingham centre of excellence, the company will also show how they are playing a role in ensuring tomorrow’s race vehicles will pave the way for less energy use and increase performance on the road.
“We have been in the business of making motor sport tyres, developing new technologies and building partnerships from our site on Fort Dunlop for nearly 100 years. Advancing our technology has always been a priority, with the lessons we learn in the top tier professional motorsport events filtering down through amateur race categories and to Dunlop consumer road tyres.”
Source: Press release Dunlop Motorsport