Australia's premier performance driving program, BMW Driving Experience is seeing a significant increase in tyre life since switching to Bridgestone's new flagship Potenza S007A tyre.
BMW Driving Experience has used Bridgestone as its exclusive tyre supplier since 2015, utilising Potenza S001 and RE050A on its fleet of performance cars, making the transition to the S007A following its launch earlier this year.
According to BMW Driving Experience Manager, Doug Greenslade, the shift to Potenza S007A has seen numerous benefits.
"Bridgestone has been a valued supplier and partner of BMW Driving Experience since 2015 and we've been very happy with the products we've used over the past couple of years. When we were asked to try the new Potenza S007A tyre, our hope was it would perform as well as the previous products and it surpassed our expectations," said Mr Greenslade.
"The Potenza S007A tyre has proven to be a high performing sports tyre providing very predictable handling for our activities and the new compound and construction is delivering wear life that we've not seen before.
"As well as providing high levels of grip, we are seeing nearly double the average tyre life from S007A compared to previous tyres. Our forecast is that we will use 200 less tyres in 2019 as a result of switching to S007A."
BMW Driving Experience holds in excess of 75 track days annually, with up to 3,000 participants taking part in braking exercises, slalom, skidpan activities and full circuit hot laps at Queensland's Norwell Motorplex, New South Wales' Sydney Motorsport Park, and Victoria's Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
Data collected from July to November by BMW Driving Experience, directly comparing the S007A and RE050A tyres on a 2018 M4 Competition shows more consistent performance from the S007A, with less variance in pressure and a lower operating temperature in each session.
BMW Driving Experience's meticulous fleet preparation meant all wheels were balanced and all tyres over the test period had the identical starting pressures, with the vehicles driven by random participants of the program.
"Our data shows the S007A produces less variation in key measurements. Throughout the trials at Norwell Motorplex, Sydney Motorsport Park and Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, the S007A consistently demonstrated lower temperatures, resulting in more predictable vehicle handling, particularly towards the end of an on track session where other tyres have become hot and lost performance," Mr Greenslade explained.
The Potenza S007A features a new Nano-ProTech compound, while the construction of the tyre was designed to take larger forces and distribute them more evenly across the contact surface of the tyre, resulting in improved cornering across a greater range of slip angles.
The development of S007A over its predecessors, focussed on across the board improvement in wear life, initial response, stability, cornering, wet and dry braking and grip levels, as well as overall lap time.
Potenza S007A was developed with premium performance vehicles in mind, such as BMW's M cars. Potenza S007A has also replaced a number of S001 and non-run flat sizes of RE050A, and with 42 sizes available is suitable for many staggered fitments.
BMW Driving Experience is one of the longest running manufacturer run driving programmes with more than 17 years of operation in Australia, and 40+ on a global level.