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14 Jun 2018

Pirelli Performance Tyres

Sixteen members attended the Pirelli presentation at Jet Wheel Tyre in South Benfleet. It is fair to say the venue and the day exceeded our expectations.

Sixteen members attended the Pirelli presentation at Jet Wheel Tyre in South Benfleet. It is fair to say the venue and the day exceeded our expectations. The operation there is very clean, slick and well stocked. The people we met were fantastic.

Pirelli selects suppliers of its tyres very carefully. There are 121 Pirelli Performance Centres for retailing their premium tyres in the UK. Only a few get to the top Platinum standard - which is partly judged by mystery shoppers. Jet Wheel Tyre has come at the top of that list - winning Pirelli Performance Centre of the year more than once.

We spent our day in the company of Peter Harrison & Steve Martin of Pirelli, plus Cliff Crane (owner of Jet Wheel Tyre), Midge the workshop manager, Becky the receptionist and a number of other delightful employees.

First up was a technical talk by Peter. As Porsche drivers, we should all know that it isn't just the tyre (tread pattern) range, but the special "N" rating that makes a difference. That's because those N rated tyres have been developed and tested with Porsche over 3 years. Peter explained that there are 50+ components in a tyre and these are varied to make the perfect N recipe.

We had a bouncing rubber ball demonstration - two different types of rubber with different levels of silica to make the compliant side walls and the harder tread of the tyre. Silica stinks by the way! We also examined different sidewall thicknesses to understand what they might be used for. For example run-flats need very thick walls.

There was a wheel alignment demonstration by Midge. Jet Wheel Tyre has a high accuracy Hunter Pro-Align laser system which is perfect for high performance cars. This involves clamping laser reflectors onto the wheels of the car while it sits on a floating platform. The suspension can be adjusted to give an instant change in alignment.

I learned that my front wheels were pointing outward like a wayward shopping trolley! They sorted it out for me very quickly. Apparently the workshop does about 250 alignments per month. They plan to soon install an enhanced alignment for active headlamps etc on the most current vehicles.

We were treated to an excellent sandwich, cake and crisps lunch before Steve gave us a talk on the benefits of buying Pirelli tyres.

PCGB members can reclaim up to £100 in fuel vouchers on new tyres. For the ultimate personalisation it is possible to have Colour Edition sidewalls on your tyres. These are manufactured in Italy with about 2 months lead time.

Naturally it would not be good to treat such tyres to tyre blacking. However we were told that Pirelli does not recommend blacking on any of its products, as it may degrade the sidewalls. Think about that as you go beyond 150 mph in your show car! A mild solution soapy solution is much better.

At the end of the day we were all given a very generous Pirelli goody bag. Jet Wheel Tyre gave us a Parker pen and also a 5% discount voucher on future purchases. (I'm sure this could be extended to other members in R11 if you ask nicely and show your membership card). I would like to thank Peter, Steve, Cliff and all at Jet Wheel Tyre for a super day out.


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