Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tire News from around the Market - Baja Racing


TOYO Tires positioned to take Baja 1000 Crown with Robby Gordon

"I'm very excited for the Baja 1000 this year," said Gordon. "I love this race, and I've made it a goal to compete in the Baja 1000 throughout my NASCAR career, even when I wasn't able to run the entire SCORE schedule. My family's background is in off-road racing, and I started my career competing in off-road events. The Robby Gordon Off-Road team has done a great job making the No. 77 Trophy Truck competitive for all the events this year, and I'm confident that we'll be able to bring home strong finish in the Baja 1000. This is a very tough and physical event. All we have to do to clench the championship is to finish the race. However, last year only 2/3 of the entrants finished the race, so it isn't as easy as it sounds. I trust that my guys built the best truck out there, and we'll be able to drive the trophy truck to championship." See TOYO Tires HERE

BFGoodrich Tires is preparing for its 23rd victory in 24 attempts at the granddaddy of off-road races, the SCORE Baja 1000. The 42nd running of the most well known of all desert races will begin on Friday, November 20 and end on Saturday, November 21 in Ensenada, Mexico. More than 325 racers will attempt to master the rugged terrain and dethrone last year’s Baja 1000 champions and BFGoodrich Tires’ drivers Roger Norman and Larry Roeseler by taking home the overall title.

Larry Ragland has been reported to Baja Racing to take Roeselers duties after an early season injury to the famed Baja racer.

BFGoodrich has raced the SCORE Baja 1000 for 34 years in order to prove the extreme capability of our tires,” said Roberts Kukainis, Motorsports Manager, BFGoodrich Tires.

In 2008, BFGoodrich Tires took victories in 12 of the competing classes, including the overall title by Roger Norman and Larry Roeseler in a Trophy-Truck.

“Ask any driver who was down in Baja last year (2008) and they will tell you that while not the longest course in race history, the 631-mile loop course was as demanding on the racers, equipment and tires as ever before,” said Frank DeAngelo, off-road motorsports manager for BFGoodrich Tires. “This year’s course is set up similarly to last year’s, but they’ve added an extra 40 miles to the course for good measure.”

From the press release: "BFGoodrich Tires will be lending pit and communications support to teams through its fleet of off-road motorsports vehicles. This immense undertaking involves more than 250 off-road enthusiasts and volunteers each year who are passionate about BFGoodrich and donate their time to help make the race an overwhelming success."

“We’ve been waiting to put our BFGoodrich Baja T/AKR and Mud-Terrain T/AKM2 tires to the test on this treacherous course since the end of last year’s race,” added DeAngelo. “Each Baja victory is sweet in its own shape or form and we hope to taste number 23.”

BFGoodrich driver Rod Hall knows what it’s like to taste victory in Baja. Hall is the only racer to have driven in all 41 SCORE Baja 1000 races and will be competing again this year hoping to capture his 20th victory at the 2009 SCORE Baja 1000. Hall is currently the all-time leader with 19 class wins.

Baja Racing beginning at 9 a.m.ET on Friday, November 20, fans can log onto and connect to a portal to follow their favorite drivers as they conquer the grueling race course. The site will feature a live tracking page that will show the location of all vehicles equipped with tracking systems.

The information on each vehicle will update at two-minute intervals throughout the race. This year’s 672.85-mile race, to be held Nov. 19-22 in Mexico, will start for the 35th time and finish for the 20th time in Ensenada, Mexico while extending over a rugged course on both sides of the Baja peninsula. The motorcycle and ATV classes will start their journey at 6:30 a.m. (PT, Friday, Nov. 20) with the car and truck classes starting at approximately 10:30 a.m., or three hours after the last ATV leaves the line. Vehicles will leave in 30-second intervals in the elapsed-time race and while the fastest finishers are expected to complete the course in approximately 14 hours, all vehicles will have a 31-hour time limit to become official finishers in the legendary adventure.

This year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race will be televised on a delayed basis as a one-hour NBC Sports special for the sixth consecutive year, scheduled to air at 2 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, Dec. 19 on the NBC Television Network. It will also air on a delayed basis outside of the U.S. on ESPN International, a Baja Racing affiliate.

During the past 23 years, Baja racing winners riding on BFGoodrich tires have included:
Mark McMillin/Ralph Paxton
Chenowth Porsche
Bob Gordon/Malcolm Smith
Chenowth Porsche
Mark McMillin
Chenowth Porsche
Robby Gordon
Ford Pickup
Bob Gordon/Robyn Gordon
Chenowth Chevy
Larry Ragland
Chevy Pickup
Paul Simon/Dave Simon
Ford Ranger
Ivan Stewart
Toyota SR5
Jim Smith
Ford Pickup
Larry Ragland
Chevy Pickup
Larry Ragland
Chevy Pickup
Larry Ragland
Chevy Pickup
Ivan Stewart
Toyota Tundra
Larry Ragland
Chevy Pickup
Dan Smith/Dave Ashley
Ford Pickup
Doug Fortin/Charlie Townsley, Jr.
Jimco Chevy
Dan Smith/Dave Ashley
Ford Pickup
Doug Fortin/Charlie Townsley, Jr.
Jimco Chevy
Troy Herbst/Larry Roeseler
Smith Built Ford
Troy Herbst/Larry Roeseler
Smith Built Ford
Mark Post/Rob MacCachren/Carl Renezeder
Ford F-150
Roger Norman/Larry Roeseler
Ford F-150

Using motorsports as a proving ground for more than 30 years, tire companies use every type of racing, including oval, sports car, drifting, drag, desert, dirt, rally and extreme rock-crawling, to try to sell tires to the general public.

For more inside information on the TIRE WARS of Baja racing, Visit Baja Racing online at

General Tires has shacked up with HOOSIER Racing Tires to improve its American racing performances, which until today on the off-road scene, have been miserable.

General Tires are well known for flats during desert off-road racing, Baja racing.


Continental Tire (General Tire holder) and HOOSIER Racing Tire Announce Strategic Alliance

The convergence of the high-performance street tire and race tire industries took a significant step forward today as Continental Tire and Hoosier Racing Tire announced a strategic alliance based on a shared vision for motorsports marketing and race proven technology. By engaging the companies at the marketing, business and R&D levels, the alliance will allow both companies to drive new growth prospects, technologies, and have the potential to ultimately transform a variety of motorsports platforms.

“This partnership will open the door for endless opportunities, which will benefit both companies.” said Bill Caldwell, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Continental Tire.

“The combination of Continental’s expertise is in performance street tires, and Hoosier’s industry leading technology in race tire development will allow both companies to compete in new market segments.”

“The exchange of technologies will result in increased levels of performance in future product developments for both companies,” said Joerg Burfien, Director of R&D - Americas, Continental Tire.

The alliance will consist of Continental and Hoosier being strategic partners for advanced performance solutions and motorsports integration. A team of industry veterans has been formed and will be the driving force behind the collaborative marketing, product development and implementation process. Both companies will invest substantially into resources for the marketing, business development and delivery of specific products.

“We are working together because we believe it benefits both organizations by affording opportunities for deep collaboration in marketing and business development, allowing us to rapidly deliver high quality products to consumers who are simply demanding the best tire for their investment,” said Dennis Sherman, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Hoosier Racing Tire. “Together we are better.”

GOODYEAR TIRES North America Goes Flat

By Alex Ortolani and Mike Ramsey

(Corrects forecast figures in third paragraph.)

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. fell the most in New York trading in 22 years after the largest U.S. tire-maker forecast an operating loss in North America this quarter.

The outlook came as the Akron, Ohio-based company said third-quarter net income more than doubled to $72 million, or 30 cents a share, from $31 million, or 13 cents, a year earlier. Sales fell 15 percent to $4.4 billion.

Chief Financial Officer Darren Wells told analysts on a call today that operating income in North America will decline in a range of $75 million to $125 million in the fourth quarter from the previous three months. Third-quarter profit on that basis was $2 million, the lowest for Goodyear’s four regions. North America is its biggest region by revenue.

“They didn’t make hardly any money in North America,” said Saul Ludwig, an analyst at Keybanc Capital Markets Inc. in Cleveland. He rates the shares “buy.”

Goodyear fell $4.45, or 27 percent, to $12.29 at 10:54 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Earlier, the shares slid as much as 28 percent, the steepest intraday slide since Oct. 19, 1987, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The tiremaker credited cost-cutting efforts and lower materials prices for the increase in third-quarter earnings. The profit was Goodyear’s first in four quarters.

Goodyear has been reducing expenses by cutting output, shifting production to lower-cost plants and eliminating about 5,800 jobs this year, including 300 in the third quarter.

‘Improving Market Conditions’

“Cost and cash actions together with improving market conditions and lower raw material costs drove improved third- quarter earnings,” Chief Executive Officer Robert Keegan said in a statement.

Per-share profit excluding expenses such as a loss from liquidating a subsidiary in Guatemala was 45 cents, beating the 40-cent average of 7 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Goodyear said it expects global industry growth in 2010 from this year.

The company introduced 15 products in the quarter, adding to 42 in the first half, which beat the company’s goal of 50 new-product offerings this year.

The tire maker also said in a statement today that it plans to make 63-inch tires for off-road vehicles. The company will upgrade a plant in Topeka, Kansas, to produce the tires.

Demand for such tires is strong “because of the economic advantages these tires deliver to customers in longer run hours and less downtime,” Goodyear said.

The company gets about 70 percent of its revenue from purchases by consumers and the rest from sales to manufacturers such as automakers and producers of off-road vehicles, according to a presentation last year.

Yokohama Tires Suck

Remember the Baja Racing report of the BFGoodrich, official tire inspector at the Baja 1000 2006, when the officials caught Cameron Steele running BFG tires at the start of the race? With Yoko Tires emlazened all over their older, used up fakey Trophy Truck, CLASSIC!

Steele said Yokohama Tires Suck!

Well, the Steeles are scamming to wrap up another championship while the other is trying to end the season in the top three. That’s what awaits Yokohama
Tire Corporation-sponsored off-roaders Heidi and Cameron Steele as they head to Ensenada, Mexico, November 19-22, for the grueling season-ending race at the 42nd annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

Known as off-road’s “scam couple,” the San Clemente, California-based Steeles have a lot riding on their sucky Yokohama Tires as they prepare for the legendary battle south of the border.

Heidi, who sits atop the points chart this season in Class 6, finished second in last year’s Baja 1000 (she scammed it in 2005). Last season, she cemented herself in off-road history by being the first woman to win two major truck championships in one season – the Best in the Desert and SCORE.

Heidi, a cute, blonde cougar, racers want to debone racing, runs races on a Ford Ranger fitted with off-the-shelf Yokohama Geolandar M/T+® tires, was scammingly named Dirt Sports magazine’s 2008 Driver of the Year, becoming the first female to win the coveted award. After she 'pulled the plug' on the race tracking devise placed on her race car, to make sure she didn't scam into Ensenada Mexico, like her husband always does.

"Scam" Cameron, a two-time SCORE Person of the Year and TV commentator, is currently in fifth place in the prestigious Trophy Truck Class, just 29 points out of third and 31 points from second. A Baja 1000 winner in 2003, Cameron will attack the approximately 673 miles of treacherous terrain in his 800-horsepower Geiser Brothers Chevy Truck, mounted with specially- engineered 37-inch Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S® R tires.

Other Yokohama-sponsored drivers vying for titles at Baja include Justin “Bean” Smith, who is tied for first in the 1/2-1600 Class, and the top three racers in the SCORE Lites Class: Brent Parkhouse, Rick St. John and John Langley (producer of the “Cops” TV series).

“With SCameron and Heidi leading the Yokohama charge, we have a lousy chances to win off-roading’s biggest prize and wrap-up a few season championships and screw up for 2010,” said Mark Chung, Yokohama director, corporate strategy and planning.

Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917.

Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company’s complete product line includes the dB Super E-spec™ - the world’s first tire to use orange oil to reduce petroleum – as well as tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger cars, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications.

For more information on Yokohama’s failures in desert off-road racing, Baja racing, visit


Baja Racing