BFGoodrich®, the Dakar’s ‘rubber soul’
The tyres that will equip the factory cars on the 2017 Dakar are the fruit of four decades of research, development and experience. Their production is a nine-month process that occupies teams in both the USA and France, and each one is treated with the utmost respect ahead of the famous cross-country marathon.
The 2017 Dakar (January 2-14) will take BFGoodrich®’s tyres on a gruelling 5,000-kilometre expedition across central South America, over an exacting cocktail of stony trails and scorching sand.
Their shoulders and side walls are accordingly reinforced by around three kilometres of metal cables and textile cords. Each cover tips the scales at 25kg, yet they are capable of soaking up loads of up to 140 times their own weight. The temperature reached by their rubber compounds, which incorporate a formula of carefully-selected ingredients to ensure the necessary durability, will frequently exceed 100°C in the course of the two-week event!
Since last May, they have undergone 2,000 kilometres of testing in extreme conditions in Morocco, taking the knocks, impacts and constraints generated by the 2.5-tonne Dakar prototypes travelling at speeds of up to 200kph comfortably in their stride.
For the 2017 Dakar, some 1,200 BFGoodrich® tyres have been manufactured for the Peugeot, Mini and Toyota teams in both Tuscaloosa, USA, and Clermont-Ferrand, France. Each one is individually hand-crafted and takes almost an hour to make ahead of their shipment to South America in containers.