Icahn Automotive Group LLC, the owner of Pep Boys — Manny, Moe & Jack, is on a mission to expand its national network, and it's starting with a multi-million dollar investment in Detroit.
Just as was the case for Monaco, the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft tires have been nominated for the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve: a semi-permanent facility, which combines bespoke sections of track with normal park roads.
But Montreal is a very different proposition to Monaco, with much higher average speeds, frequently changeable weather conditions, and a low-grip surface that often catches out even the most experienced drivers – many of whom have had contact with the famous ‘wall of champions’ in the past.
Other important factors affecting the tires in Montreal include braking, with heat from the brakes warming up the tires (although this year, the behaviour of the brakes is different, with the new brake by wire system). There are also some notable kerbs in Montreal, which force the tire to absorb impacts as part of the car’s suspension.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director:
“We’re expecting the tires to be worked a lot harder in Canada than they were in Monaco, with a lot more energy and greater forces going through them due to much higher speeds. This should lead to the maximum possible mechanical grip, which is certainly what’s needed in Montreal. There’s a high degree of track evolution and we frequently see a lot of sliding – especially with reduced downforce this year – which obviously puts an increased amount of stress on the tire. But we are still expecting to have contained wear and degradation this weekend, even on the two softest tires in the range. Canada always tends to be an unpredictable race where strategy can make a real difference, also because of the high probability of safety cars. As we saw in Monaco, taking the right strategy opportunities when they present themselves under unusual circumstances is a key element to success at any circuit that falls outside the usual mould, with Canada being a prime example. Historically, there’s a reasonable chance of rain, in which case judging the crossover points – sometimes without previous data, if each previous session has been dry – becomes crucial.”
The circuit from a tire point of view:
Traction and braking are the two key points that affect tires in Montreal, with the increased torque and diminished downforce of the 2014 cars making the track even harder to master this year. The biggest risk is wheelspin, with the action of the tires against the track overheating the tread. Late braking can cause flat-spotting if a wheel locks up – however, the design of the 2014 tires have made them a lot more resistant to this phenomenon.
The cars tend to run a low downforce set-up in Montreal, to maximize a top speed of over 300kph on the straights. The trade-off for this is less aerodynamic grip through corners, meaning that the cars slide more and are more reliant on mechanical grip from the tire compound to get round the corner.
The supersoft tire is a low working range compound, capable of achieving optimal performance even at low temperatures. The soft tire is a high working range compound, suitable for higher temperatures and more strenuous track conditions. The weather in Canada can be variable, often causing the race to be interrupted. The 2011 Canadian Grand Prix, Pirelli’s first race in Canada of the current era, was also the longest in Formula One history, due to repeated stoppages.
One of the biggest challenges for the tires in Canada is the fact that the asphalt is extremely inconsistent, made up of a number of different surfaces that offer variable levels of grip. The job of the tire compound is to smooth out these differences to offer as consistent a level of grip as possible.
Sebastian Vettel won for Red Bull last year, having qualified on pole. He claimed victory with a two-stop strategy (supersoft-medium-medium) having used the intermediate tire in a wet qualifying session. While Pirelli is nominating the soft rather than the medium tire alongside the supersoft this year, all the 2014 compounds are slightly harder than their predecessors.
Ron's Tire Inc. opened a new store in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and its inventory features much more than tires. Motorcycles, bicycles, power equipment, grills and even barbecue sauce are sold here. The sales staff is cross trained to sell every product under the roof.
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NTN, the parent company of BCA Bearings, has released 627 new product SKUs in its wheel hub assemblies, seals and loose bearing lines. The 627 part numbers cover over 60,000 applications.
The Car Care Council says Fall Car Care Month in October is the perfect time to reach out to your community and remind them of the benefits of auto care while helping your business at the same time.
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Two Big O Tires LLC stores in Washington have new owner/operators.
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Six months after the first DieHard Auto Center opened in Texas, Sears Holding Corp. has opened two more DieHard stores in the Detroit area.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has named Christopher Helsel vice president and chief technology officer.
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Remember email? Sometimes in the communication that is texting, tweeting or ‘Snapchatting,’ email is taken for granted. Facebook is great for sharing your thoughts and feelings to everyone you have friended, but email is more targeted, especially when used for business. You might say it is even more personal than Facebook because it is designed for interaction between two people or among a small group of people.
“Cool it with the direct mail.” That was the advice given by Tom Eisenberg to Bob Mirman, his mentor at West Coast Tire and Service Inc. in Los Angeles.