APRILIA, Italy (June 30)—Bridgestone Europe N.V./S.A. has put into service the first phase of a two-phase, $45 million, 355-acre European Proving Ground at Aprilia.
Built in the low rolling hills south of Rome, the new proving ground features a 2½-mile high-speed oval circuit, a 22.2-acre "black lake" wet handling area, a 2½ -mile dry handling circuit and 11 noise and comfort tracks.
Phase 2 of the project, to be ready by spring 2006, will add straight and cornering hydroplaning test beds, five wet skid-pad circles, a 1.1-mile wet handling track and full testing facilities for truck, bus and agricultural tires, Bridgestone said.
The new proving ground has been designed for testing high-performance, touring and general use tires of the future and will complement Bridgestone's existing European Technical Centre at Castel Romano 19 miles to the north.