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updated 6/24/2017

Seminars on Tires & Handling

Tire & Handling Seminar at UNCC

Don't you need to know more about tires?

I've developed more than eight hours of Power Point slides that include most of the content of the tire book plus information I'm constantly learning as I talk to people about tires and vehicle dynamics.

If your company/organization is involved with cars or racing you need to know more about tires and how they affect vehicle handling.

Experienced racers have learned about tires but they don't know why they work the way they do. I can provide understandable explanations that allow racers to leverage their experience and advance their skills and knowledge.

A long-time race tire distributor told me, "You explained things I've laid awake at night wondering about."

An ex-Michelin F1 track support engineer now at a Formula 1 team told me, "Your book is the reference in the field."

Details of seminar content: this page summarizes topics covered in the all-day seminar.

Call Paul at 214-328-1204 for more info. Or email Paul.

New Content

The seminar has evolved as I've learned more and figured out how to explain topics better. The viscoelastic nature of rubber and rubber friction generates a challenge to racers trying to tune a car for maximum grip.

"The car feels like it's up on the track instead of down in the track," is a dreaded driver comment but actually is a good intuitive description for what's happening when lateral load transfer timing or damper tuning causes actions at the contact patches that the tires don't like. At the Orlando and Portland seminars we'll talk about lateral load transfer timing and how that effects grip and how the car feels to the driver.

Typical All-Day Seminar Schedule: 8am, registration; 8:30am, start; 10am, 15 minute break; 12noon, 1 hour break for lunch; 1pm, resume; 2:30pm, 15 minute break; 4pm, end talk; questions.

Previous Seminars

Portland Seminar, February 10, 2007

In October of '06 some guys from the Portland area contacted me about doing a seminar. The idea originated with Christopher Bender, a Portland resident who flogs his Lotus Elise at various Track Days in the Pacific Northwest and spread to Greg Meythaler, Chief Driving Instructor for the BMW Automobile Club of America, and Don Clinkenbeard, Track Chairman for the Oregon Region of the Porsche Club of America. Eddie Nakato, owner of Adrenaline Racing and AR Auto Service in Lake Oswego, offered the use of his facility as a meeting place.

These two clubs decided to underwrite my fee and expenses and promote the event as an all-day Tires and Handling seminar open to the public for $50 a head. We decide on Saturday February 10, thrashed out the details and committed to the event.

The event was a howling success! Fifty-five people showed up; a mix of professional racecar preparers, SCCA racers, track day racers, and general car enthusiasts. Attendance generated enough cash to cover both clubs' expenses.

For me this was the perfect audience. Everyone there had experience with tires and had built up a high level of curiosity since there isn't much information out there about how tires work on a car. The questions they asked showed they'd been thinking hard about tires. It's fun for me when the answer to most questions is, "There's a slide coming up that answers that."

We started a little late and there were a lot of questions so there was still material to cover at the published end time. A few people left but most stayed an extra half-hour while I finished up. Even then some guys hung around to ask more questions. The day ended with a half-dozen of us trading tales over burgers and beer.

A great trip, a productive event and a super bunch of people.

Orlando, FL with the PRI show Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2006 offered by the Society of Automotive Engineers. Nine racers, race engineers and car people attended this seminar. They asked great questions and everyone said they learned a lot.

SAE Seminar, Wednesday, April 5, 2006, Cobo Hall, Detroit, MI. A dozen engineers and racers attended this all-day seminar in conjunction with SAE World Congress.

Formula SAE Special Seminar, Monday, May 23 2005, SAE Automotive Headquarters, Troy, MI. More than 30 FSAE competitors and Detroit Area engineers attended this seminar. The FSAE people are very aware of how important the tire is in the overall design and development of four-wheel vehicles. There were some great questions and the group feedback was great. SAE plans to offer this seminar several times each year.

Robert Bosch Corp., Farmington Hills, MI. Thursday, May 5 2005. This seminar was for Bosch employees only. Almost 30 people attended and the feedback was very positive as usual.

University of No. Carolina at Charlotte, Saturday, April 16 2005: This was a special all-day seminar for the Motorsports Engineering program at UNCC. Attendees were UNCC students and local Motorsports professionals. A successful seminar that will be repeated later in the year. Email Paul to get a message when a date is set.

San Francisco Region SCCA, Saturday, March 12 2005. This was a great seminar. Click here for trip report.

Andersen-Walko Racing, a four-driver Formula Mazda team asked me to conduct a seminar Dec. 6, 2004, the day after their two-day test at Kershaw, SC. We started at 8:30am, broke for lunch down the road, and finished at 4:30pm. The whole crew from part-timers to race engineers participated including John Walko.

At the end of the day John and his crew agreed that they had learned a lot. The consensus was that they would now all be on the same page and had a stronger understanding of how tires work on a car, meaning they would be more able to respond to new situations involving tires and car handling.

This was a perfect situation. John's people have a lot of experience using tires but don't know WHY tires work the way they do. I explain the basics of tires and how they work on a car. Racers are curious people and they really love finding out the WHYs.

Seminar Trip Reports

October 30, 2003: Robert Bosch Corp.: Bosch supplies critical fuel and brake systems to the automotive industry. The Chassis Division designs and develops anti-lock brake systems and vehicle control systems. They contracted with me to give an all-day seminar on tires and vehicle dynamics.

The room had 36 chairs but 42 books disappeared. The audience was mostly applications engineers who are responsible for the development of Bosch's ABS and ESP systems. They were an informed and attentive audience and asked great questions. Most of them were car and/or racing enthusiasts.

There were several topics that seemed to interest them. Rubber friction is different from the classic definition of friction and has some implications that affect their testing and data interpretation. They also appreciated an explanation of the load sensitivity of tires. Although they've had courses in vehicle dynamics, my explanation of lateral weight transfer and how springs, anti-roll bars, dampers, and roll centers influence grip and balance gave them a better understanding of the trade-offs.

The presentation was a success and I met some great people at Bosch.

November 1, 2003: Shelby-American Auto Club-Motor City Region is an intensely enthusiastic group of people who get their toys out onto race tracks and work them. They wanted a half-day seminar with emphasis on tires and handling. I modified the presentation to fit their needs.

About 30 people attended including a couple of guys who were regular competitors in regional NASCAR racing. It was fun to get questions from experienced people and see them light up as they learned the WHYs of what they had already learned from experience. I can't say I was able answer every question that came up but I had to say "I don't know about that." less often than I expected.

Another presentation went well and people found the information useful. And another great bunch of people.

November 19, 2003: Ricardo, Vehicle Engineering: Starting decades ago as a British engine-development company, Ricardo has broadened their capabilities and offer a wide range of products and services to the auto and Motorsports industries. This meeting was at their Technical Campus in the western suburbs of Detroit.

November 21, 2003: Penske Racing Shocks: The day after the Ricardo seminar I flew to Allentown, Penn. and drove to Reading. Jeff Ryan welcomed me to his expanded facility. These people deal with racers and their setup challenges every day so they were pleased to learn more about how tires work with vehicle dynamics.

December 9, 2003: Michelin North America, Greenville, SC: This day proved to be a strange experience that showed me just how weird is the tire industry. Tires are an amazing product but the industry is managed strangely.

Michelin paid me to give a four-hour talk in the morning and also spend some time in the afternoon with a group discussing how to market a new tire in development. During the morning talk to an audience of 60-70, it was obvious from comments and questions that people were learning from the information I was presenting. Many in the audience were openly appreciative while others just didn't have much to say.

During the afternoon meeting, I learned Michelin has data showing their tires are technically superior in several areas. They admitted they had difficulty explaining that to customers. I told them that, if I could understand that information, I could help them explain why people should pay a premium price for Michelin tires.

March 13, 2004: All-day Tire & Handling Seminar, at Hammerhead Racing, Scottsdale, AZ: Lisa and Jens Ploughman organized and promoted this seminar and held it in their shop, a fully-equipped race preparation business. The attendees were extremely knowledgeable drivers, fabricators, and race engineers. We all learned a bunch.


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