From race track to road: Falken takes on-track learnings to everyday motoring (sponsored)
How Falken tyres uses technology developed for the VLN Endurance Championship to create high performance road tyres
The 2016 motorsport season sees tyre manufacturer Falken again fielding a strong race team of proven drivers, taking to the track in the new Falken Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (991).
Drivers Wolf Henzler, Peter Dumbreck, Martin Ragginger and Alexandre Imperatori will battle it out for Falken Motorsports. They hope to continue the success achieved in the team’s old Porsche 997, aiming for podium finishes in the VLN Endurance Championship as well as the ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race, held at the legendary Nürburgring in Germany.
The highlight of 2015 was a third-place finish at the Nürburgring 24-hour race and there are high expectations this year. More than 400 tyre dealers from across Europe have been invited to witness the event, which takes place on 27-29 May and is amongst the most challenging races in the world.
Sporting the iconic Falken Motorsports livery, the new Porsche 911 GT3 R has a water-cooled six-cylinder engine and total payload of approx. 1,220 kg. Compared to its predecessor, the new Porsche has an extra 8.3 cm in wheelbase length for more balanced weight distribution. Lightweight construction was used throughout the bodywork, attachments and chassis, optimising the centre of gravity and enhancing the car’s performance further still.
Falken’s tyre engineers are on-site whenever the Falken Motorsports team is racing, fitting almost 900 tyres to the race car during the course of the season. The tyres are changed after each qualifying or race stint, which is slightly more than 200km on the eight-lap North Loop and Grand Prix course. Depending on the weather, either slicks, rain tyres or intermediates are fitted.
Extensive tyre tests are undertaken every stint, with a variety of tyre constructions and mixtures tested on the circuit using 300/660R18 sizes on the front and 310/710R18 on the rear of the Porsche. Falken’s Japanese tyre engineers then analyse the test results and gather direct feedback from the drivers. The information ascertained then flows into the tyre development process and helps to create the ideal tyre.
From race track to road
Falken’s vast experience on the race track has led to the development of ultra high performance (UHP) tyres for the road. Its successful Azenis FK453 tyre has been directly derived from motorsport activities, offering outstanding performance for motorists looking for a sporty drive in all weather conditions. Grip and braking performance on dry and wet surfaces, as well as high-speed stability and the reduction of driving and pass-by noise levels were the focus when these tyres were developed.
The new flagship of the Falken UHP portfolio is the AZENIS FK510, launched in spring 2016. The tyre fits into the upper side of Falken’s UHP line-up while offering a more ‘rounded’ performance and driver comfort. It’s already been labelled as ‘Highly Recommended’ by German motoring magazine Automagazin.
The FK510 is made from a ground-breaking compound that’s been developed using 4D Nano Design Technology to offer superb grip and maximum tyre wear resistance. It has sporty driving characteristics and excellent wet grip to prevent aquaplaning, while new pattern technology gives outstanding directional stability, driving dynamics and fuel economy.
To see more racing action and find out about its products, follow Falken on Twitter @FalkenTyres or visit http://www.falkentyre.com/en.