Seeking a 15th overall win in the legendary Dakar Rally, BFGoodrich Tires will be supporting two official partners that will race on a bespoke tire built for the challenges of the course.
As the official tire of Toyota and Mini X-raid, BFGoodrich will provide tires and support for the teams as they compete in the grueling off-road race that covers more than 3,000 miles in Peru. They will race on the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KDR2+ tire, conceived, engineered and manufactured with one goal in mind: win the Dakar with versatility and reliability.
The KDR2+ tire has completed a journey from concept to production featuring the BFGoodrich manufacturing facility in Tuscaloosa, Ala., which also produces BFGoodrich racing tires for a variety of disciplines, including North American desert and short-course racing.
BFGoodrich engineers spent more than a year studying the demands of the Dakar Rally and collected data from past rallies to develop the KDR2+ tire, introduced in 2018. The tire also incorporates tire technologies found in aviation, agriculture, civil engineering, mining and circuit racing.
The Dakar course is as varied as the continent of South America. It runs through hard-packed dirt, sandy flats, towering dunes, water crossings and loose rock. Drivers go from extreme heat to extreme cold and climb from low to high altitude. A one-dimensional tire won’t survive.
The KDR2+ tire features enhanced grip and improved steering response and traction – especially on muddy ground – with no detriment to overall performance. The improvements also include a more open tread pattern and reinforced casing. Another notable achievement with the KDR2+ tire is its ability to run on both two- and four-wheel drive vehicles with the same level of performance, regardless of vehicle type.
This year there will be a new twist to the KDR2+ tire. BFGoodrich is offering the tire in two different compounds. The first option is the medium-compound version, the original compound for the tire. The second is the softer compound, ideal for performance in sand. With long stretches of sand dunes in this year’s course, racers will be able to fine-tune their strategies to select the ideal fitment for each leg of the race.
“The lessons we’ve learned from decades in off-road racing have led to incremental improvements on our racing tires each year,” said Peter Calhoun, BFGoodrich motorsports manager. “The KDR2+ is the culmination of this experience, and we’re honored to have some of the biggest teams in the Dakar Rally relying on this tire.”
The 2018 Dakar Rally begins Jan. 6 in Lima, Peru. To learn more about the rally, visit https://www.dakar.com/en.