We are running the Yokohama AO50 Soft compound on RP968.
The issues we are dealing with are foreign to other forms of motorsport where usually you are trying to cool down brakes, we must balance the process of getting brakes up to temperature and holding it without over-heating the tyre on the rim.
The Yokohama engineers are pretty stressed about what we are doing to their tyre, we have taken it to places they never thought it would go. To look at where World Time Attack Challenge began, it was more your WRX and Evo cars on semi-slicks, so it really is a credit to the tire to be able to do what we ask it to do in the Pro class.
Barton Mawer says: The other compounds; medium and hard, we found, just don’t have the amount of grip we need. The soft is our choice because it activates straight away, we roll out and I warm up the brakes, and by the time I come out of corners 8 and 9, I’ve generated a bit of heat, then the last two corners, I work it a little bit and that’s enough to activate the tyres - the heat gets into the tyre and it just turns on.
It is a qualifying type tyre. We do the lap and then the set of tyres see the bin. The medium tire lasts slightly longer but is half a second to a second slower than the soft.
So even though the soft compound tyre is blistering and struggling for traction at the end of its life near the end of the lap, the soft is still faster than the medium.
Richard says: We have sensors in the wheels to tell us what is happening through each corner. We wanted to simulate the forces in turn 1, in the shop. To do this we put the car on our strong hoist then strapped the car down to simulate ride height under aero load at speed, then we pulled the car sideways and watched everything twist to simulate the cornering forces in turn one. Bart was there and he will attest to how scary it looked! The outside rim was almost touching the ground. The rims had an 18mm ovality in them from the pressure pushing them down.
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