GREENVILLE, S.C.—Michelin North America Inc.'s BFGoodrich brand will be the official tire supplier of the 2017 Dakar Rally.
When the Dakar Rally kicks off in Asuncion, Paraguay, in January, the tire maker said BFGoodrich tires will outfit competitors' vehicles on a large scale for the first time since 2012.
The company will outfit roughly 300 vehicles competing in Dakar and provide a BFGoodrich Dakar Service Center through which competitors can receive 24/7 technical expertise.
The rugged terrain and unpredictable elements that racers face over two weeks and more than 5,000 miles of punishing competition across three countries is exactly the sort of proving ground that BFGoodrich seeks, the tire maker said.
“BFGoodrich has a long-tenured racing heritage, and we're excited to continue our global involvement in racing in the dirt with our official return to the Dakar Rally,” said Pascal Couasnon, Michelin and BFGoodrich motorsport director. “Cross-country rally racing is a distinct challenge, and this race features some of the most complex terrains on the planet. As with other forms of racing where BFGoodrich competes, our commitment stays the same in this discipline. We continue to use all the technical information we learn in racing laboratories around the world to develop new technology and constantly improve our products while taking on the toughest conditions on Earth.”
Tires used for the 2017 Dakar Rally will include the BFGoodrich All-Terrain KDR2, the BFGoodrich All-Terrain KDR and the BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR2.
Michelin said the race tires are designed and built to withstand the punishment of Dakar and this technology is then transferred to the brand's consumer tires, which share similar compounds and structure with the competition tires.
The tires for Dakar are built in being manufactured in Michelin's Tuscaloosa, Ala., plant.