Switching from snow to gravel
BFGoodrich is now ready for Rally Mexico, round three of the World Rally Championship. This race is a gravel event, the first one so far this season.
Manufacturer 1 and 2 entered drivers have a total quota of 60 tyres each, 35 of
which may be used during the event (rally and shakedown). Just one type of pattern is authorised, compared with two last year. Tyres were nominated on January 17th.
Pattern / Construction
While the tread needs to be capable of cutting through the loose top-coating to enable the compound to heat up and provide grip, the construction must cope with the acceleration and braking forces to combat the centrifugal forces that tend to deviate the car from its line...
At the end of the 73km loop, the temperature of the tread band surface could well reach 110°C.
Testing outlawed in Mexico
With overseas testing prohibited, pre-event tests for Rally Mexico took place in Spain in January and February. It was difficult however to test products in identical conditions (different temperatures, type of surface, altitude, etc.).
Marcus Grönholm drove his Ford Focus WRC06 on BFGoodrich's g-Force Gravel tyre on the loose for the first time in Spain on February 22- 23. The test base was reasonably similar to the Mexican stages, but temperatures only got up to 8°C!