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SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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BFGoodrich Tires The Tire Company has 45-years Of Desert Racing Experience That Validates Performance And Rugged Construction By Dan Sanchez Testing tires in the world’s toughest off-road racing events is what led BFGoodrich Tires to develop some of the most successful off-road racing and consumer tires in the business. According to Peter Calhoun, Motorsports Marketing Director BFGoodrich Tires, the company has been a stalwart of SCORE racing on the Baja Peninsula. “What started as validation to showcase the performance and toughness of the Radial All-Terrain T/A® tire, has continued to be a test site for current and future BFGoodrich products over the past 45-plus years,” said Calhoun. Since the first Radial All-Terrain T/A® touched ground in Baja, the company has taken what it’s learned and continued to design tires that have proven themselves in SCORE racing competition. “Tires like the All-Terrain T/A® KO2 and Mud-Terrain T/A® KM3 feature “Baja Champion” engraved in the sidewall,” says Calhoun. “This is not a marketing slogan, but validated through competition and a class win in a SCORE sanctioned Baja race.” The design has evolved over the years due to the changing demands of the vehicles, consumer needs, and the needs of racers. “ In the past forty years, race vehicles and tires have continued to evolve,” said Calhoun. “The single largest difference that people immediately gravitate to is size. Modern unlimited vehicles running on 40” diameter tires would have been unheard of 10-years ago. The most recent Class 1 builds have not moved to a 40” tire, where for years they were on 37” designs.” While at first, it might seem easy to make a bigger tire, Calhoun says there’s more to consider than simply adding more rubber when making a larger tire. “Our engineers like to say, ‘the bigger the tire, the smaller the obstacle.’ In reality, there’s a compromise between size, weight, and its corresponding reciprocal mass. You can make a tire that’s oversized for the car, and not have the horsepower to efficiently put the tire to work as a competitive advantage. The horsepower war of the past four to five years in SCORE Trophy Trucks is a good example. A 1000+ hp Trophy Truck may have trouble putting power to the ground and experience increased wheel spin, thus increasing tire wear. This is an area where the newer AWD vehicles have a benefit. We also see less wear on a Trophy Truck Spec or a Class 1 vehicle utilizing the same 40” tire with moderate horsepower levels.” With a lot of focus on off-road racing and durability, it’s difficult for consumers to see how racing advancements benefit the tires on their daily-driver truck or SUV. “Racing contributes to our product development and testing, but recreational, commercial, and consumer tires are all very important too,” says Calhoun. “The All-Terrain T/A® KO2 is a perfect example of a tire that was tested in Baja and is suitable for off-road use. It’s a popular tire for race support and chase vehicles too, while also being equally adaptable in the snow with its 3-peak mountain, snowflake rating. But it’s also great on-site for farmers, construction, and trade professionals’ vehicles too.” One of the largest vehicle groups that have grown in terms of tire needs both in racing and recreational use, is the UTV segment. “BFGoodrich tires continues to develop tires for consumers and racers with designs that come from our experience in racing,” said Calhoun. “We offer one of the few UTV tires designed, engineered, and made in the U.S.A. with the Baja T/A® KR2. The KR2 family of pure race tires is complemented by the Mud-Terrain T/A® KM3 UTV line for recreational, commercial, or entry-level racing. Recently, the KM3 line has been expanded to include additional sizes, including OE replacement sizes from the major UTV manufacturers in both 14” and 15” wheel diameters.” As BFGoodrich Tires continues to test and develop through racing in SCORE and other motorsports, the company is also looking at how it can meet the demands of future transportation sectors. “One of the most common trends globally is for companies to develop sustainable products,” said Calhoun. “Sustainability within Group Michelin, of which BFGoodrich Tires has been a part of since 1990, aims to make Michelin one of the most innovative, accountable, and high-performing companies worldwide across all of its responsibilities: economic, environmental, social and societal. This includes the goal for the use of 100-percent sustainable materials by 2050.” SJ

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