Tech Talk--BFGoodrich Tires are Built-In Support Team for Every Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Racer TOOELE, UT--9 September 09- With every Ford Racing Mustang Challenge racer utilizing the same Ford Mustang FR500S and the series regulations ...
Tech Talk--BFGoodrich Tires are Built-In Support Team for Every Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Racer
TOOELE, UT--9 September 09- With every Ford Racing Mustang Challenge racer utilizing the same Ford Mustang FR500S and the series regulations keeping modifications and adjustments to a minimum, it doesn't matter if the drivers show up with their Mustang on an open flat bed or in a fully decked out transporter--they all have an equal shot at winning.
And even if the driver has a big crew, or he is the only guy working on the car on any given weekend, every single racer in the Mustang Challenge sees their chances at that win bolstered by a built-in support team. BFGoodrich Tires, which supplies the specification tire for the Mustang Challenge--the BFGoodrich g-Force R1 245/40ZR18--goes way beyond merely just supply.
With a full engineering staff on hand, BFGoodrich Tires staff plays a key role to the Mustang Challenge racers every weekend. The on-site support from BFGoodrich Tires includes a lead engineer; three support engineers, and one production liaison. In addition, three people man the tire station throughout the weekend to make sure that everyone has their wheels and tires ready to go for every session.
During every practice, qualifying, and race session, drivers get instant feedback on their tire temps and wear nearly every time they pull into the pits, with the BFGoodrich engineers giving them real-time pressure and temperature data printed from their hand-held units for the drivers and teams to review to make mid-session changes. That data is also reviewed with the teams following the sessions, giving them yet another tool to work on the optimum set-up.
"It's huge," said Andrew Caddell about the support. "They give us the information right there, every time we come in to the pits, every session. There is only so much you are allowed to adjust with these FR500S Mustangs, so pressures are a big part of the ideal set up."
"Even without all the help they (BFGoodrich) provide, the tires themselves are also awesome," continued Caddell, who will look to lock up his second Mustang Challenge Championship at Miller Motorsports Park in September. "They have a lot of grip and have a big window in terms of performance. You still have to be smart and manage how aggressive you are during the race, but they are really forgiving."
And it isn't just the racers who benefit from the relationship.
"We learn a lot about our products, every weekend," says Tony Coleman, BFGoodrich Engineer. "There is just no better laboratory than a race track. This is also a great way for us to train our engineers in terms of learning about the product and how it stands up to what these guys put them through. There is a lot of information that we bring back into the office on Mondays and it helps us look at everything we do in terms of design, production, and everything else that goes into making a strong product like we have in the g-Force family."
The support of the BFGoodrich Tire engineers is just one facet of what makes for a very well-supported paddock.
"That's something that our drivers have been very positive about in terms of keeping the racing simple and rewarding," said Series Director Lynda Randall. "The series brings the hospitality set-up, the fully stocked parts truck, and even a set-up pad. So that makes it that much easier for them in terms of logistics for the races. And with the BFGoodrich guys being here in full force, it's kind of like everyone has a built-in support squad the moment they pull into our paddock. They've also been a great partner away from the track and we've been thrilled to work with them."
The New Jersey Motorsports Park round of Mustang Challenge competition was a new chapter for the series, as it marked the first rain race in series history. After a rain racing pep talk from Miller Performance Center Instructor (and KONI Challenge Champion) Joe Foster, the drivers staged a fantastic race that ran in green flag conditions the entire distance. The weather, which saw varied precipitation from start to finish of the 45 minute race, gave both the racers and the tire the chance to shine.
"It was exciting for us to deploy the KDW, the Series Wet tire, and we were really happy not only with how it performed and the race that these guys put on, but also with the feedback we got after the race ended," said Doug Brown, Performance Segment Manager for BFGoodrich. "For us, this is a way to not only support a series that's very unique-we also get tremendous benefit from what we learn at the track. And from a marketing point of view, the nationwide footprint of the series, as well as the connection to Miller Motorsports Park and the Miller Performance Center is something that's really important to us."
While the relationship also benefits the racers by keeping costs down, BFGoodrich also provides one of the best ways to keep costs down-driving fast! Both the winner of each race, as well as the driver who scores the BFGoodrich "Take Control" Award can score free tires to use in Mustang Challenge competition.
The 2009 Mustang Challenge season will close on a high note with a race on the home track at Miller Motorsports Park September 19.