Dunlop teams up with GreenGT to develop tires for hydrogen-powered race car

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Dunlop Motorsport has announced it will develop tires for a revolutionary new car, the GreenGT H2, which holds the potential to reshape the future of motorsport power. The performance tire manufacturer will be working closely with the team to drive tire technology forward and help provide the grip that will maximize the ‘future power’ of motorsport.

The launch of the GreenGT H2, which will compete in the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours, is the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell powered race car, featuring electric powertrain technology.

The hydrogen fuel cell holds potential in powering future motorsport efforts, and in order to maximize the grip and energy efficiency of the car, the tire must be designed specifically to the setup of the car as Jean-Felix Bazelin, general manager of Dunlop Motorsport explains:

“Electric cars currently present challenges to tire design. To help handle the extra weight of the vehicle, the load capacity of the tire will need to increase and the drive for energy efficiency means the tire design will require a lower rolling resistance.

“The high torque characteristics means the tires will require a new construction that provides increased longitudinal stiffness. Other challenges for Dunlop are to design a tire that optimizes the advantages of torque vectoring technology, which provides the active differential with the ability to vary the amount of power sent to the wheels. While the suspension can be used to control the vehicle response, torque vectoring focuses on the stability of the car.

“This means the balance of the car can be better controlled on different tracks, surfaces and corners. Therefore the tire compound will be tuned to suit this particular car. To help control tire temperature and wear there will be a possibility to use a softer compound than a conventional car. Also, just as Dunlop has achieved on its latest road tire, the BluResponse AA concept, a reduction in rolling resistance will maximize the efficiency of the car.”

Dunlop’s involvement with the GreenGT H2 signals the start of a program to design specific tires for enhancing the performance and handling of electric cars, helping them drive further with less energy consumed while maximizing the grip and performance.

“We are thrilled to be involved with the development tire for the first hydrogen fuel cell Le Mans car. Dunlop’s rich technical expertise and ongoing success in motorsport over the past 125 years means our knowledge will prove invaluable in the challenge of producing the tire design of the future,”said James Bailey, Dunlop Motorsport’s marketing and communications director. “The objective is similar to the one achieved by our Dunlop BluResponse AA road tyre which achieved a Grade A for grip and a Grade A for energy efficiency.”

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