A new world record for the fastest car on two wheels was set at Seinäjoki Airport on August 31st, when Nokian Tyres’ product development, Vianor’s professional pit crew and well-known stunt driver Vesa Kivimäki combined their strengths. The tyres on the record-breaking car had been reinforced with Nokian Tyres Aramid Sidewall technology and the new record was set at a speed of 186.269 km/h (115.742 mph)
The role of the tyres becomes very important at extreme speeds. This is especially true when two tyres – in practice, two palm-sized patches – are the only contact with the road. In order to break the record, the vehicle needed tyres that were as durable as possible. Nokian Tyres Aramid Sidewall technology allowed for constructing a sidewall that is particularly resistant to wear and cuts.
“When driving on two wheels, the sidewall maintains the road contact, so we had to design a special tyre for this purpose. The Aramid fibre added to the sidewall rubber compound strengthens the sidewall and gives it substantially better tear strength. This unique sidewall compound technology combined with a special structure created a specification that is suited for speed records”, says Matti Morri, Technical Customer Service Manager for Nokian Tyres.
The secret behind Aramid Sidewall technology is the extremely strong aramid fibre that is also used in the aviation and defence industries. The technology is utilised in the latest SUV tyres, for example.
“The passion and creative madness required for this world record attempt are also descriptive of Nokian Tyres’ product development. We need to try new things and test our limits. Only this will allow us to develop safer, more durable tyres in the future” Morri says.
Vianor’s expert pit crew also participated in the world record by taking care of the record-breaking car and its tyres. The team could change tyres rapidly and report the condition of the car and tyres in real time to the driver.
“I have made earlier attempts to break the record for the fastest car on two wheels, but have not been successful. At some point, I realised that the key to record-breaking speed is to have tyres that are exceptionally durable. Cooperation with Nokian Tyres and Vianor made it possible to break the record” says Vesa Kivimäki, the holder of the new world record.
The world record for the fastest car on two wheels was set according to the rules defined by Guinness World Records. The car needs to be mass produced, not a prototype manufactured for the record attempt. Within one hour, the car must drive both ways through speed measurement gates that are located one hundred metres apart. The world record is the average of these two measurements.
The record run was made on a 2-kilometre long, 50-metre wide runway. The distance used for the average speed measurement was 100 metres.
The previous record was from 1997, when the Swedish Göran Eliason drove on two wheels at a speed of 181.25 km/h (112.62 mph).