FIA verifies Continental's land/speed records

Dec. 23, 2013

Christmas came early for Continental Tire the Americas LLC. The Federation Internationale de I’Automobile (FIA) Land Speed Records Commission has homologated both the 10-kilometer and 10-mile world speed records from a standing start.

Continental, in conjunction with Michael Shank Racing, Ford Motor Co., Roush Yates Engines and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) set out to break the records at Daytona International Speedway on Oct. 9, 2013.

The new world speed record for 10 kilometers from a standing start is officially 110.188 seconds or 203.010 mph (326.714 kph).  Additionally, the new 10-mile speed record from a standing start is officially 171.414 seconds or 210.017 mph (337.989 kph).

Both records have been homologated by the FIA Land Speed Records Commission and break the former world records held by Hans Liebold for the last 34 years. Leibold drove a Mercedez-Benz Turbo to a 10-km speed of 199.101 mph and a 10-mile speed of 208.316 mph from a standing start in Nardo, Italy on May 5, 1979.

In addition, driver Colin Braun, behind the wheel of the No. 14 Michael Shank Racing Ford EcoBoost-powered Daytona Prototype (DP) car on Continental’s ExtremeContactDR (Dry, Race) tires, clocked the single fast-lap record on the oval: 222.971 mph (40.364 seconds). The time broke the previous record of 210.364 mph set by Bill Elliott in 1987.

"It was an honor to be a part of such a historic day,” says Travis Roffler, director of marketing for Continental. “Our team worked hard to develop a tire that would sustain the loads placed upon them at those speeds on the high-banked oval, and to see Colin make those laps with confidence, on our tires, was incredible.  It’s a true mark of distinction for Continental Tire and everyone involved in the project, to break a record that had been in place for 34 years."

Continental engineered a tire specifically for this project. While the foundation of the tire is based off the ExtremeContact Dry Race tire that the DP class raced throughout the 2013 Rolex Series season, some minor changes were made. The tire used for the record-setting run:

* is lighter and has less rolling resistance than the standard race tire.

* features a harder compound than the tire used for a typical road course race.

The tire is part of Continental’s ExtremeContactline of tires that includes the DW (Dry, Wet), DWS (Dry, Wet, Snow) and ExtremeWinterContact for passenger cars and light trucks.

“The Continental tires performed great,” says Braun. "We had good grip.

"Obviously it’s a balance between rolling resistance and giving up speed and the amount of grip we have. But the Continental engineers did a great job of bringing us a tire that was not only fast and had good rolling resistance, but also had good grip to go out there and go 220-plus mph around Daytona."

The records set at Daytona were part of a record-setting year for Continental. In May, Johan Schwartz shattered the Guinness world record the longest sustained drift on a set of ContiSportContact 5P’s in a BMW M5 Sedan. In June, it was a set of PureContact tires with EcoPlus technology that helped achieve a new Guinness record for the lowest fuel consumption for a non-hybrid car (Volkswagen Passat) in the 48 contiguous states.

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