Mickey Thompson was heavily involved in off-road racing in the USA and innovated tyres and vehicles specifically for off-road racing, with many of his original innovations still being used today.
It is due to Mickey Thompson’s rich heritage in off-road racing that Mickey Thompson Tires made the decision to become involved in off-road racing through its association with certain drivers. Mickey Thompson Tires is proud to support Australian competitors Chris Western, Murray Collins and Sandy Bowman all of whom are superstars of off-road racing.
Chris Western and Mickey Thompson Tires joined forces in 2009 to create an Australian off-road racing team. Chris Western lives and breathes off-road racing. His dream is to race in the Baja 1000, the one race that American racing legend Mickey Thompson dreamt of winning and at the end of his racing career, won in 1983 in record time.
Chris explains why Mickey Thompson tyres are his tyre of choice, “In the past, I’ve tried other brands of tyres but they were only suited to one type of terrain or were too soft and wore out too quickly. I like everything about the MTZ tyres. We are getting longer wear, the tread pattern suits mud, sand and gravel roads which is really important, as we cover all these different surfaces during a race. Most of all, it’s the PowerPly which gives less under-steer in cornering and more control so I can power out of the corner earlier for faster lap times. At high speed the MTZ’s give me more confidence to keep pushing. The MTZ is the perfect tyre for the harsh conditions in off-road racing.”
NSW Champ Murray Collins also uses MTZ’s and is yet to find a race that can bust his MTZ tyres. Racers who take on the Griffith 700 know all about Beaurepair Hill, so named for the number of tyres it bursts. The rocks covering the hill range in size from ping pong balls to basketballs. Murray Collins puts it this way, “You can’t escape the rocks so you just have to hit them as hard as you’re game and hope you don’t bust a tyre. I’ve raced the Griffith 700 once on MTZ’s and didn’t bust a tyre. In all I’ve done 14 races (including Finke Desert twice) on MTZ’s and haven’t busted a tyre yet. The tyres are still in good shape after this punishment and we expected to have destroyed them by now.”
Murray and his team have tried other big name brands but Mickey Thompson is their pick. He explains, “Our MTZ’s don’t bust so we move up the ladder in the big races. And their traction is brilliant on everything – dirt, mud, rocks, sand and jumps. There is no doubt they’re a huge part of our success. We’re sticking with them.”
Off-road racing legend Sandy Bowman has been at it for over 20 years and has also had success on Mickey Thompson tyres. On his first attempt at sand racing at the King of Dunes, Sandy brought his Nissan Patrol home in third outright. At the end of the race Sandy exclaimed that it was, “the best fun I’ve ever had off-road racing, ever. The start and being able to race wheel to wheel all day, was an absolute buzz,” and he did it all on his Mickey Thompson MTZ’s.
For more information about Mickey Thompson’s history with Off-Road Racing or more on Mickey Thompson MTZ’s visit www.mickeythompsontires.com.au.