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28,000 Tires and Two Tons of Pasta Later

December 01, 2011
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Wanna be THE tire supplier for Formula One? Think ya got what it takes to make and provide service to the world's premier motorsport series (so sorry NASCAR)?

Based on these stats Pirelli provided from its first year back on the circuit, you might want to reconsider your ambition:

• Total race tires provided for the season: 24,000 dry tires; 4,600 wet tires; 6,000 for the tests

• Kilograms of rubber deposited on track: 10,200 kilos

• Number of tires recycled during 2011: 28,600 race tires; 6,000 test tires

• Average life span of a dry compound: 120 kilometers

• Pole position lap records broken: 11

• Race lap records broken: 2

• Highest speed reached by a P Zero F1 tire: 216.982 mph

• Total miles driven in all races and tests: 191,169.196 miles

• Total number of pit stops for season: 1,111 (26 were drive through or stop-go penalties)

• Fastest pit stop time: 2.82 seconds (all four tires changed)

• Average time for a Pirelli fitter to mount F1 tire from scratch: 2m30s

• Time taken for Sebastian Vettel to fit an F1 tire from scratch: 5m13s
• Total number of Pirelli people travelling to a race: 52

• Total number of languages spoken within the Pirelli F1 team: 14

• Total number of Pirelli trucks at European races: 12

• Total miles traveled by Pirelli’s trucks: 574,971

• Hours needed to put up/take down Pirelli’s hospitality unit in Europe: 10 hours (up) and 8 hours (down)

• Numbers of meals served at Pirelli F1 hospitality (including tests): 28,612

• Number of cups of espresso served by Pirelli hospitality during the season (including tests): 43,250

• Pounds of pasta cooked by Pirelli’s chef during the season (including tests): 2,690 pounds
The pasta alone would cripple the average tire company!
* * * * * * *

According to the Rubber Association of Canada, less than half of drivers in Newfoundland and Labrador use winter tires. The 44% utilization rate (as calculated by the RAC), though, isn’t alarming.

At least according to the RAC.

Ralph Warner, RAC director of operations, said they track all winter tires that are sold into each of Canada’s provinces, then look at the number of vehicles on the road in each province and then calculate how long the typical winter tire lasts.

That figure is the ‘utilization rate.’

Winters in Newfoundland and Labrador aren’t as bad as advertised, but compared to U.S. winters (sans Alaska), they are pretty tough. Still, that 44% rate is not considered a problem, even though the RAC and safety officials would, of course, like to see something closer to 100%.

Canada’s national average is 51%, even figuring that winter tires are mandated in Quebec, giving that province a 100% utilization rate.

On the other end, Ontario has a rate of 39%. Rates in Western Canada – despite wintery blasts that regularly sock Alberta and Manitoba – are even lower.

Back in the Maritimes, Prince Edward Island comes in at just 27%, while New Brunswick tops 60%, followed by Nova Scotia at 56%.

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Speaking of Canada, remember the story we had a few months ago about the undercover police in Guelph, Ont., who helped a steal tires from a local tire dealer? Yeah, well we had a few defenders give us the business for questioning why police would assist in the commission of a crime. Silly us.

Anyway, the 18-year-old who snagged the six truck tires from Dettmer Tire in Guelph managed to avoid the pokey, but was put on probation for two years, fined $1,500 and banned from driving for two years. Plus, he got 100 hours of community service and has to pay $900 to the Guelph police department.

The cops? Nothing.

Michael Lopez, you’ll recall, phoned in a tire order and supposedly used a bogus credit card from a non-existent tire store to buy the rubber. When he got to the store, the cops – who were there to investigate the use of an invalid credit card – helped Lopez load his buy, even though Lopez had no ID other than a bogus business card for the bogus tire store for which he used the bogus credit card to buy the very real tires.

Lopez drove away with his stolen tires, and officers did follow him in an unmarked car. Funny, though, that Lopez gave them the slip. He was arrested the next day when he tried to return the rental truck, but the tires – valued at more than $1,000 – remain at large.

Lopez claims he is trying to turn his life around, and apparently is studying to become (get this) a security guard! Could prove to be a lucrative opportunity, given the example the local cops gave.