For the ninth year in a row, Tire Discounters Inc. has been named "best tire store" in its hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Last weekend’s Catalan Grand Prix at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was one for the ages, with a thrilling three-way battle for victory between Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi producing one of the most exciting encounters in recent years.
Ultimately it was Marquez who claimed victory to extend his perfect record in 2014, with Rossi finishing second and Pedrosa third.
After a hot start to the weekend, temperatures cooled down on Sunday with a peak track temperature of 40°C recorded during the twenty-five lap Catalan Grand Prix.
Q&A with Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport tire Development Department
Temperatures on Friday and Saturday were extremely hot, but then we had a cool change on Sunday. Did this have an effect on race tire choice for riders, and how did it affect tire performance?
“Although it was cooler on Sunday, this didn’t have a big influence on race tire choice for riders. With the lack of grip from a track surface that has been heavily utilized for racing, many riders said that the soft and medium rear slicks were working best as they needed the maximum amount of edge grip to be competitive. As a result, no matter what the weather brought on Sunday, almost every rider made up their mind on Saturday which tires they would use for the race, in the end there were only a couple of late decisions made on the grid regarding which tire to use. As for tire performance, the cooler temperatures probably helped as it reduced the potential for the rear tire to overheat due to spinning. We had a new Circuit Record Lap and overall race time record set during Sunday’s race, so it seems the cooler temperatures allowed the riders to extract maximum performance out of their slick tires.”
Many riders complained about the grip level of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Considering the lack of grip, are you happy with tire performance over the race weekend?
“Yes I am happy with how our tires performed and believe that our tire allocation had the best balance of grip versus durability. I think our expanded front tire allocation has allowed riders to better deal with unpredictable track surfaces, but at such a severe circuit for tires such as the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya we cannot go too soft with our compound allocation as this would affect the durability and heat-resistance of the tires. At the moment, I think our balance of compounds is working well for the track, as we had record pace over the weekend despite the grip level being sub-standard. However, I heard it was a possibility that the circuit might be resurfaced soon and I think this would be the best option for everyone, as it will improve the grip level of the circuit and also remove the bumps in the braking zones entering the corners, which will make the track safer and more predictable for the riders.”
You provided a new tire for riders to test at the post-race test at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. What is this new tire and what benefits are you expecting it to provide?
“The new tire we provided was a front slick using a newly-created compound that we developed following requests from the riders. This new compound sits roughly halfway between our current medium and hard compounds in terms of hardness, and is best suited to circuits which are quite severe for tires with hard braking zones.
“We expected that this new front slick compound would provide the same high level of braking stability as our current hard rubber compound, but with cornering performance closer to that of our medium compound. Many riders tried this new front slick compound in the Monday test at Montmeló and said it was in improvement over our current hard compound so this is promising news. We will now cross-reference their feedback with the empirical data we collected during the test and make a decision on whether we will introduce this new compound later in the year.”
Plaza Tire Service Inc. has opened its 60th store. The second-generation tire dealer has opened up shop in Moberly, Mo.
Now it’s General’s turn. Fresh off the launch of the Continental ExtremeContact Sport in February, Continental Tire the Americas LLC introduced three General tires to its Elite Gold dealers on their way to Cozumel, Mexico.
Vogue Tyre and Rubber Co. has hired David Long as national sales manager for its key accounts.
Gary Sass has joined Point S North America as its first network operations manager. Sass will be responsibile for continuing the synergy between the Point S entities in the U.S. and Canada, and working to expand the company's network, partnerships and brand in North America.
Wegmann automotive USA Inc. is moving into a larger distribution facility to serve its West Coast customers. The company says the location in Phoenix will help improve fill rates and delivery services.
Bridgestone Americas Inc. is replacing the Firestone FR710 with the Firestone All Season tire, a product the company says covers more than 70% of the cars, minivans and crossovers on the road today.
Bass fishing fans have a chance to win a VIP fishing trip from the General brand of Continental Tire the Americas LLC to fish with Team GT pro anglers Skeet Reese and Edwin Evers.
American Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd.’s Kenda brand is the new tire sponsor of Vore Adrenaline Compound, an off-road driving experience based in Las Vegas, Nev.
Each month we ask members of our National Advisory Council (NAC) a question or questions on a current hot topic. Recently we asked, “What effect do you believe Donald Trump will have on your business as president?” Here are some of their responses.
Service Line Inc.’s Renegade TMB 4000 manual parts washer for general repair cleaning is designed to be a practical alternative to washing parts with solvents.
The tire pressure monitor system (TPMS) monitors the air pressure in the four road tires with wheel-mounted tire pressure sensors.
The new General Altimax Arctic 12 studdable winter tire from Continental Tire the Americas LLC targets the passenger car, minivan, crossover and compact sport utility vehicle markets. The new tire also completes the General brand’s winter tire lineup.
The Robinair AC1234-6 was the first commercially available fully automatic R1234YF machine to meet the SAE’s requirement for recovering, recycling and recharging vehicle A/C systems with the new refrigerant, according to Bosch Automotive Service Solutions.
Tire Factory Inc. members have rebranded the vast majority of their 206 stores to the Point S banner at a breakneck pace. And leaders of the Oregon-based cooperative are unveiling new programs with two big hopes: the momentum of current members continues, and more independent tire dealers join their network.