Goodyear Tyres Test Track
Goodyear Tyres Test Track-New Goodyear tyres “Vectra” tested in Luxembourg
I remember receiving a phone call from Goodyear tyres. Thus, offering a place for Peter and I to go to the Goodyear Tyres Test Track to Luxembourg. Hence, to attend the World launching of Goodyear tyres new product the “Vectra tyre”. This was a brand new product.Hence, from Goodyear Tyres. For this reason, would fit somewhere in the centre of Goodyear tyre price range. Hence, this was not going to be in the cheap tyre range.But was an all season tyre giving the tyre good grip in all kinds of climates.
Peter and I did not know what to expect. Therefore, we happily agreed to attend. We flew to Heathrow Airport in London. Where we were to attend a champagne reception. We then were to board a jumbo jet to Luxembourg. This was going to be a top class weekend. I could not wait to find out what the next day would bring. It was all kept a secret by Goodyear. Unknown to us a similar event was also taking place in Donnington park the week later. But Peter and I were asked to attend the premier event in Goodyear Tyres Test Track Luxembourg.
Goodyear Tyres Test Track; Hanna Mikkola a Goodyear tyres test driver
The following day. After a top class meal in the hotel. So, we were driven by coach to the Goodyear test track. Each party was given a number (raffle ticket style).
Goodyear tyres had a fleet of bog standard Vauxhall Cavalier 1600cc saloon cars. Fitted with brand new sets ( of the then unknown), Goodyear Vectra all-season tyres. When our number was called out we were to proceed to the pickup area where we would be driven around the test track by a well known professional driver to test the tyres under very stressful conditions.
I do not remember all the drivers, but some were very famous and very fast. They were Russell Brookes, Jacki Stewart, Donald Heggie and our driver first time round was no other than Hannu Mikkola. All these drivers were regular test drivers for Goodyear tyres, from rallying to F1 Grand Prix drivers, top class test drivers.
We were given crash helmets and got in the car driven by Hannu Mikkola. I made the first mistake by jumping in the front. The first part of the course was a straight ending in an 180-degree bend. Hannu revved the car to its limit and let the clutch out. My eyes nearly popped out and my stomach came up into my throat,(I think I screamed out but the engine gave off so much noise that I wasn’t sure). I was literary scared to death and I was totally pushed back in my seat with my eyes totally closed with fear. Peter was in the same bad condition sat in the rear seat.
Goodyear Tyres Test Track
At these speeds in a bog standard Vauxhall Cavalier. Frighteningly, the car and the tyres were making screams and noises that I have never heard before. I was literary frightened to death. The new Goodyear tyres did really well but were burned out after only two laps of the course. Significantly, the driving was so intense. When we stopped Pete and I shot off to the beer tent. Consequently, downing a few beers as fast as we could. Afterwards, we sat at the same table as Hannu. Importantly, who turned out to be a great guy and we had a laugh. Especially, about our extreme driving experiences ! Alter lunch we both threw our track tickets away and vowed never do this again. Goodyear tyres were great hosts and money was no object! But boy was I glad to get out of that car.