Ultra Low Aspect Ratio, High Performance Tire Development 841240
Passenger car tire aspect ratios historically have decreased, and continue to decrease further. This has been especially true of high performance tires. Original Equipment manufacturers, as well as performance-minded consumers, are placing emphasis on handling, traction, cornering and high speed performance. In order to meet these high performance standards, tires with aspect ratios lower than 0.50 have been developed. Extensive indoor tests are carried out on these tires. But, indoor test results must be proven on vehicles. However, there are no production vehicles to test these tires under the high speed and high cornering conditions that they are capable of achieving. One method being used is testing tires during their early development on racing cars.
This paper will discuss the development of 0.35 aspect ratio, street construction, radial high performance tires. A large portion of the tire testing was carried out on Lola T616 - Mazda GT prototype racing cars in competition. The vehicle testing program is discussed in detail. The construction and compounding modifications resulting from the test sessions are discussed.