Safety, performance and fashion took center stage at “Snow on Board,” an event organized by Pirelli in St. Petersburg, Russia to unveil the brand’s latest technological developments for winter tires. Staged between the city center and Igora Park skidrome, 80km north of St. Petersburg, the latest-generation Pirelli winter tires, limited edition Pirelli P Zero snowboard in collaboration with Burton and P Zero ski suits were debuted amidst below freezing temperatures. Celebrity guests, including F1™ driver Vitali Petrov, and Russian models Eugenia Volodina and Tanya Mityushina, were on hand to discuss the most common problems faced by drivers in winter conditions.
The Igora Park tests, conducted by Petrov, underlined the key role that tires play in safety and performance and the importance of choosing the right type of rubber for specific weather and road conditions. Tires represent the only point of contact with the road surface and in the majority of cases the actual contact area is only slightly wider than a credit card. This minimal surface has to guarantee the grip of the whole vehicle, determining its braking distance and stability. The tests were conducted comparing winter and summer tires in three different situations representative of the most common driving conditions during the cold season. The first comparison focused on braking and demonstrated how the wrong tire can increase the vehicle’s braking distance by as much as 30 meters, even at relatively low speeds, a difference which can dangerously compromise the chances of avoiding an obstacle. The second comparison showed how the wrong tires make it impossible to control the vehicle, especially on a bend. The final test revealed that a snow climb can be tricky even for a powerful SUV. Choice of tires is fundamental not just in extreme conditions of snow and ice, but throughout the autumn and winter months until spring, when pouring rain or morning frost can often make roads treacherous.
“The Snow on Board” event also presented an opportunity to launch the latest entries to the Pirelli winter tires family, such as the complete P Zero snowboarding kit, fruit of technological collaboration with industry leader Burton. This includes Mistery, the lightest snowboard ever made by Burton, custom-built like the racing cars which inspired its line and colors, and ION bindings and boots which represent the core of the Pirelli / Burton partnership. For the sole of the boots Pirelli Bicocca researchers developed a compound and a tread inspired by Pirelli tires to guarantee snowboarders maximum grip, comfort and control, comparable to high performance cars. To read more about the collaboration, visit Snowboarder Magazine for an exclusive look.