From race track to road

From race track to road

Hamburg-based manufacturer, Meyle, has been a technical cooperation partner in the FIA European Truck Racing Championship for many years. This season, the company is supporting MAN driver, Sascha Lenz, and his SL Trucksport 30 team.

The commitment goes far beyond average sponsoring: the sharing of knowledge and experience between the Meyle engineers and the motorsport team is the main focus. Through the performance analysis of the truck parts under extreme conditions in racing operation, Meyle gains important insights for further product development. In return, Meyle engineers are available as technical partners on race weekends and in the workshop for Sascha Lenz and his team – a win-win situation for both sides.

The strain on parts is greater than usual when a vehicle enters the race track. This applies in particular to brake components. These are subjected to extraordinary stress during truck racing and are therefore ideal as a ‘rolling test laboratory’. During a race, the trucks in front of the bends brake very strongly, sometimes from around 160 to 40- 50 km/h. During this strong braking process, the brakes can reach extreme temperatures in a short time, making water cooling of the brake discs an essential process. To achieve this, however, the components must be able to withstand enormous temperature fluctuations without the surfaces being glazed and the braking distance being severely restricted as a result. In addition, the parts must perform reliably in both wet and dry conditions. Apart from the brake pads, brake discs are also installed and tested on the race track.

At Meyle, all data collected by the engineers during races is directly incorporated into the development and optimisation of the truck range. “Of course, we could also test our developments under laboratory conditions, but testing under real conditions is always something completely different, explains Marc Erdmann, engineer at Meyle and, among other things, an expert in T3 sponsoring. “On the race track, we can even reach the absolute limit. On just one race weekend, we expect a component load that roughly corresponds to the load of an entire year of a road vehicle.

“In addition to the vast amount of technical data that we can record and evaluate here, and despite all the telemetry, the feedback from Sascha Lenz and his team is above all an important building block for us and our development work. The right combination of our theoretical knowledge and the subjective impressions from the cockpit is the key to success for us”.

In recent years, the Meyle product portfolio has already benefited from the credo ‘from race track to road’. The first technically improved parts have already been incorporated and are available in the Meyle portfolio. In 2014, the Meyle-Original brake discs, for example, were optimised in terms of their material composition. The further developed brake discs are currently being installed in the MAN race truck from SL Trucksport 30 and will continue to be put through their paces on the race track.

Meyle race

Since 2018, the new Meyle-PD brake pads have been available in the independent aftermarket as Meyle’s first ever parts that have been completely redeveloped through cooperation with a racing team. The brake pads feature an optimised, low-wear friction material mix; with the aid of a special pad friction mixture that has been tested in multi-stage processes, braking performance can be improved and braking distance reduced. The Meyle-PD brake pads can even bring trucks weighing tonnes to a standstill in the shortest possible time, in a stable and safe manner. These new brake pads have been manufactured in accordance with the ECER90 standard and are adapted to the enormous loads in truck racing and the daily demands of daily road traffic. They are supplied with all installation materials.

In addition to the brake components, the following parts are currently installed in the race truck, and are therefore regularly subjected to a ‘stress test’:

  • Meyle-Original belt tensioners
  • Meyle-Original expansion tanks
  • Meyle-Original V-ribbed belts
  • Meyle-Original engine mounts
  • Meyle-Original ABS wheel sensors
  • Meyle-Original radiator hoses

Commercial vehicles are exposed to extreme stresses – not only on the race track, but also in road traffic. They transport heavy loads and usually have to cover long distances; every breakdown costs time and money. Accordingly, components should be serviced regularly and wearing parts replaced in order to avoid prolonged and costly breakdowns. This is where Meyle customers benefit from using the parts from the race track; the components have been tested by the strongest, and have further developed and adapted to the daily requirements of trucks.

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