Nokian Tyres plc has recorded its place in history. Its tires were fitted on a BMW 330 when professional stunt driver Vesa Kivimaki set the world record for the fastest side wheelie in a car — at 115 mph!
The new record was set Aug. 31, 2016, in a test on an 1.2-mile-long airport runway in Seinajoki, Finland, says the Guinness World Records. The new record (officially 115.742 mph) beats the previous record from 1997 of 112.62 mph.
The tires were reinforced with Nokian's Aramid Sidewall technology, which the tire company said made the tires strong enough to handle the added strain of driving on two wheels. It also helped protect against wear and cuts.
Watch a video of the record-setting ride here:
"When driving on two wheels, the sidewall maintains the road contact, so we had to design a special tire for this purpose," said Matt Morri, technical customer service manager for Nokian. "The Aramid fiber added to the sidewall rubber compound strengthens the sidewall and gives it substantially better tear strength. This unique sidewall compound technology combined with a special structure created a specification that is suited for speed records."
Aramid Sidewall technology is also found in Nokian's Hakkapeliitta 8 SUV tire.
A pit crew from Vianor changed the car's tires, maintained the vehicle, and reported its condition to the driver.
"I have made earlier attempts to break the record for the fastest car on two wheels, but have not been successful," said Kivimaki. "At some point I realized that the key to the record-breaking speed is to have tires that are exceptionally durable. Cooperation with Nokian Tyres and Vianor made it possible to break the record."
According to the rules set by Guiness World Records, the car must be a mass-produced vehicle and not a prototype. Within one hour the car must drive both ways through speed measurement gates located 328 feet apart. The world record is the average of these two measurements.