Mazda has set a world record for the highest number of hairpin turns in 12 hours of driving with the MX-5 on its 30th anniversary, running on Pirelli P Zero Asimmetrico tires from the Collezione range, in size 205/50 ZR15 86 W.
Jörg Schäfer, head of outdoor driving tests and dynamic instrument testing at Pirelli Germany, said, “This tire, manufactured with racing technology, offers the high performance that was required to achieve the record in terms of its strength, durability, grip, steering precision, performance and safety on wet roads. The tread pattern of the P Zero Asimmetrico is the original pattern from the P Zero tire, which has been very successful for more than three decades. The tread pattern was used for rally driving as early as 1986, under a different name, and its design is optimized for high lateral loads.”
In order to evaluate the durability of the tire’s structure before the world record drive, experts from Pirelli recorded the route profile of the Kaunertal Gletscherstraße on a computer and translated it into a digital test program. After that, the tires were physically tested in an indoor laboratory for maximum lateral acceleration, both in a straight line and through a variety of corners, for 18 hours. The wheel load was also repeatedly tested at 150% of its maximum capacity.
The record drive began at 7:00pm on July 17, 2019, on the Kaunertaler Gletscherstraße in the Austrian Tyrol, under the strict supervision of the Hamburg Record Institute for Germany. At the wheel of the roadster was racing driver Cyndie Allemann, MX-5 Cup driver Jan Spieß, Auto Bild test driver Stefan Novitzki, and rally driver Niki Schelle, alternating every hour.
After 12 hours, the team had completed exactly 2,900 hairpin bends, far surpassing the 1,500 required for the record. The panoramic Austrian road is 26km long (16 miles) and has 29 hairpin bends in total, with an elevation change of almost 1,500m, and leads to the beginning of the Kaunertal Glacier, at 2,750m.