Tire Review: "Goodyear using Digital Mapping to Help Tire Wear"

October 11th, 2013

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Goodyear Uses Digital Mapping to Help with Tire Wear

October 09, 2013




Kansas racetrack.
Started in 2008, Goodyear has been working on digitally mapping tire wear at various racetracks across the country.

As seen in images 1 and 2, there are microscopically small patches of asphalt on two separate racetracks, in this case Atlanta Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway.

Tire wear is an important element on the racetrack and Goodyear has worked hard to remain on top of its game. With the use of digital mapping, Goodyear utilizes many tools to keep their tire technology cutting edge, according to the tiremaker.

This tool helps Goodyear select what tires to use for each racetrack by examining the conditions of the racing surface and the characteristics of various tires.
Atlanta racetrack.

"We actually started (digital mapping) back in 2008 with Indianapolis," said Greg Stucker, director of race tire sales for Goodyear, Friday at Kansas Speedway. "I won't say that we've done every race track, but we've done a great number of them. Not only can we see what a particular track surface looks like, we can also compare it to other tracks. By looking at the surface itself, versus another one, and knowing what we've run at the two, then obviously it helps us make decisions on tires to run."

Stucker added that the mapping helps them track the changes in the racing surface by being able to compare images from year to year.

"I won't say we get to every track every year, but at least every couple of years and see how they change. We certainly have seen that with the new types of asphalt there doesn't seem to be quite as much change. This is a way to gauge that."

Kansas’s racetrack was repaved only a year ago but Atlanta has not seen a new surface in over a decade. The difference is evident in the digitally mapped images.

"Our goal for every race track is to be able to run a full fuel stop successfully (and) provide as much grip as we can under green," Stucker said. " … We don't try to say we want to wear 50%, 25 %, 60%. We simply want to make sure we give them enough where the tire wears slowly enough … to complete that full fuel stop.

"And that's going to vary depending on the surface itself and how abrasive the surface is going to be."

Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards has seen the digital mapping images from Atlanta and Kansas, and called the graphics "the neatest thing."

"It’s pretty neat for Goodyear to be able to understand all of that and work towards the best tire they can. That’s good for everybody.”

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