Volkswagen Motorsport has smashed the lap record for electric vehicles on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit with its ID R race car, running on Bridgestone Potenza tires.
The ID R tackled the 20.83km long racetrack in 6.05.336 minutes – beating the previous record by 40.56 seconds.
The Bridgestone motorsport team began its collaboration with Volkswagen by assessing the needs. R&D work was carried out at the tire maker’s facilities in Rome, Italy, and Japan to create a bespoke set of Potenza slicks for the ID R.
The ID R’s center of gravity is much lower than a normal race car due to the fact that the battery package is underneath the car. This enables very high cornering speeds, which could only be achieved if the tire is able to transfer the vehicle’s power to the road surface.
The tire also had to have a strong grip in both the lateral and longitudinal directions to cope with the high torque levels. The perfectly aligned suspension and load balance puts equal stress on all four tires. This results in even wear but at the same time, means that the tire must be able to efficiently attain heat. Finally, the tire needed to be durable enough to enable the required operating range.
Thanks to the open-minded and transparent relationship between both companies, the project was completed in less than five months – record timing for an OE project.
Bridgestone engineers were able to gain a better understanding of what is required of an electric vehicle tire, on and off a racetrack. The findings will be applied across the company’s materials and composition, and configuration R&D.
Mark Tejedor, VP of original equipment at Bridgestone EMEA, commented, “We’re so proud to be part of this historical moment. Reducing CO₂ emissions and improving natural resources preservation are essential pillars of Bridgestone’s sustainability strategy.
“Just a year ago, no-one would have predicted that an electric vehicle could achieve something like this. Our next step will be to apply the findings from this partnership to road-going EVs to benefit all drivers.”