When you create a road-going hypercar that pushes the limits of what’s possible, you need a tyre that’s up to the task.
That’s the challenge faced by Brabham Automotive as it introduces the Brabham BT62R, a road-going version of its blisteringly fast BT62. The BT62 is a million-dollar, 710PS machine that won the first endurance race it took part in — while running Goodyear tyres. To source road tyres that meet similar performance demands for the BT62R, there was only one place to go: Goodyear.
Brabham Automotive’s confidence in Goodyear comes not only from that race-winning combination in November 2019 but also from a decades-old partnership in Formula 1. Sir Jack Brabham famously won the 1966 Formula 1 World Championship using Goodyear tyres driving a Brabham-Repco he constructed himself. Today, Sir Jack’s son, David Brabham, is the Sporting Director at Brabham Automotive who was behind the wheel of that victorious BT62 during its debut race in 2019. Drivers and owners of the BT62 and BT62R cars echo that passion, and the legacy lives on. Helmut Fehl, R&D Associate at Goodyear, summarizes the desires of a BT62R owner. “Brabham BT62R drivers require the highest performance possible from every aspect of their car, including tyres,” he explains.
“The priority is the performance on the racetrack. Driving performance and the feeling the driver has from their tyres is crucial.” Providing a tyre that could live up to the demands of a race-bred machine like the BT62R is no mean feat, especially when it needs to be legal to drive on the road, but Goodyear was ready. As the ultimate tyre in Goodyear’s Ultra Ultra High Performance (UUHP) range, the Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport RS ticked every box. Goodyear tested the tyre on motorways and open roads first, and then on the track, including extensive testing at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Because of this rigorous testing over almost two years, this tyre was just what Brabham Automotive required. Vehicles like the Brabham BT62R generate huge lateral G-force using a combination of mechanical and aerodynamic grip and require tyres like no other. Balancing this with on-road comfort is crucial, as Fehl explains: “The Eagle F1 SuperSport RS is the perfect choice for drivers using their hypercars on track, where 80% of the owner’s focus is on-track performance. “With the aerodynamics of the BT62R pushing the performance envelope in line with race vehicles, the demands become very similar to a race car, but the owners still need the tyre to be road-legal to get to the racetrack.” How does the Eagle F1 SuperSport RS manage to satisfy these performance demands?
“The tyre uses a cutting-edge combination of race-proven tyre compounds, with different compounds on the outside compared to the inside,” Fehl explains. “Our race tyres use the same Race Pro compounds, so it’s very tricky to imagine a tyre with more grip than that.” The ability to blend the demands of the racetrack with the requirements of road-legal vehicles is an incredibly difficult thing to master. For the road, it needs to satisfy tough demands for wet grip, noise, rolling resistance and other requirements. Roman Görl is Goodyear’s Senior Technical Project Manager for OE Consumer Tyres, and he explains how this tyre manages to achieve all those demands.
“The use of race-bred compounds is coupled with a highly-intelligent tread pattern with Bridge Assist Technology, adding bridges into the first groove for block stability and bending resistance. The tread pattern also has fewer grooves than other tyres in the UUHP range and lower pattern depths to prevent the tread blocks from moving around under extreme load, allowing the use of a softer, stickier compound. This means drivers can be more accurate and helps prevent the tyre from generating too much heat. “High-speed stability is enhanced, too, with Powerline Cover technology, a tread deformation protector for high speeds.” It’s not all about tailoring a tyre to just one car, however, as Görl explains: “The Eagle F1 SuperSport RS is the highest-performing road-legal tyre Goodyear has created, and that is precisely what owners of extreme vehicles like the Brabham BT62R demand. It is perfect for a wide range of vehicles that need to perform at very high speeds on the track, up to the highest level of performance, so it’s the ultimate tyre for track-focused supercars and hypercars from the likes of Brabham.”
These manufacturers are no strangers to racing, and neither is Goodyear, so how much has the motorsport program influenced the design of the tyre? “Hugely,” says Fehl. “When it comes to the tread design of the RS, the race and road teams work very closely together. When it comes to the compounds — it’s the same team for both.” For drivers looking for ultimate performance from a road-legal tyre, the Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport RS is the perfect choice.