Michelin Philippines Chief Representative Michael Nunag relayed the announcement on October 4, 2016 from Greenville, South Carolina that BFGoodrich Tires is set to return to its rich history of winning at the 2017 Dakar Rally as the official tire supplier of the Dakar Rally.
When the Dakar Rally kicks off in Asunción, Paraguay in January, BFGoodrich Tires will be back on competitors’ vehicles on a large scale for the first time since 2012. In addition BFGoodrich will roll out the BFGoodrich Dakar Service Center, through which competitors will benefit from 24/7 technical expertise. The rugged terrain and unpredictable elements that racers face over two weeks and more than 5,000 miles of punishing competition across three countries is exactly the sort of proving ground that BFGoodrich seeks.
“BFGoodrich has a long-tenured racing heritage, and we’re excited to continue our global involvement in racing in the dirt with our official return to the Dakar Rally,” said Michelin and BFGoodrich Motorsport Director Pascal Couasnon. “Cross-country rally racing is a distinct challenge, and this race features some of the most complex terrains on the planet. As with other forms of racing where BFGoodrich competes, our commitment stays the same in this discipline. We continue to use all the technical information we learn in racing laboratories around the world to develop new technology and constantly improve our products while taking on the toughest conditions on Earth.”
The BFGoodrich tires used for the 2017 Dakar Rally include products raced and tested across the globe:
BFGoodrich All-Terrain KDR2: A uniquely constructed race tire specifically created for cross-country rally racing. Sharing similar characteristics with the BFGoodrich Baja T/A® KR2, this tire is designed to be lighter and sports a new tread pattern. The tire is tuned for the increased handling demands of lighter-weight vehicles. It is designed specifically for the championship-winning Peugeot 2008 motorsports effort and the Toyota Gazoo Racing team in Dakar.
BFGoodrich All-Terrain KDR: Similar to the KDR2, this tire delivers grip on all types of terrain, along with driving comfort and greater braking stability. The tire is designed to withstand the extra sidewall abuse found specifically with four-wheel-drive vehicles such as the efforts of Toyota/Overdrive, Mini X-Raid and Mini ALL4 teams.
BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR2: The tire that has dominated Baja deserts also helps racers in the two-wheel-drive buggies at Dakar. Its tread is designed to deliver maximum traction on soft ground, extreme protection against sidewall damage and balanced braking and cornering performance.
The company will outfit roughly 300 vehicles competing in Dakar. The race tires are designed and constructed to withstand the punishment of Dakar. This technology is then transferred to the brand’s consumer tires, which share similar compounds and structure with the competition tires. Additionally, the tires for Dakar and our latest consumer tires are built in the same BFGoodrich Tires manufacturing plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
That hard-learned and hard-won “know how” migrates from BFGoodrich race tires to acclaimed consumer models like the All-Terrain T/A® KO2 tire, designed for durability and extreme traction.
The Dakar Rally may be the world’s most grueling innovation lab, but BFGoodrich Tires races to win, not just to learn. With the first victory occurring in the Paris-to-Dakar class victory in 1993, BFGoodrich followed with a dozen overall Dakar victories, including 10 straight wins from 2002 to 2012:
1993: BFGoodrich wins FIA Off Road Rally World Cup 2WD Championship with Jean-Louis Schlesser and class win at Paris to Dakar Rally
1999 – 2000: BFGoodrich wins the Dakar Rally with John-Louis Schlesser
2002 – 2003: BFGoodrich wins the Dakar Rally with Hiroshi Masuoka in a Mitsubishi Pajero
2004: BFGoodrich wins the Dakar Rally with Stephane Peterhansel in a Mitsubishi Pajero, sweeping 1st, 2nd and 3rd place
2005: BFGoodrich wins the Dakar Rally with Stephane Peterhansel in a Mitsubishi Pajero
2006: BFGoodrich wins the Dakar Rally with Luc Alphand in a Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero Evo
2007: BFGoodrich wins the Dakar Rally with Stephane Peterhansel in a Mitsubishi Pajero/ Montero Evo
2009: BFGoodrich wins the Dakar Rally with Giniel de Villiers in a Volkswagen Touareg
2010: BFGoodrich wins Dakar Rally with Carlos Sainz in a Volkswagen Touareg
2011: BFGoodrich wins Dakar Rally with Nassar Saleh Al-Attiyah in a Volkswagen Touareg
2012: BFGoodrich wins Dakar Rally with Stephane Peterhansel in a Mini Cooper
BFGoodrich Tires is known as the brand that created the first radial all-terrain tire in 1976 and has proven its off-road racing mettle with victories around the globe.