No foam for you: WRC banning run-flat tire foam, electronics filling the void

For two decades, participants in the World Rally Championship haven't been bothered with flat tires due to the expanding foam that quickly inflates when air pressure is lost. Since the system was instituted, it wasn't uncommon for drivers to win races – sometimes setting record times – on foam-infused tires. However, new FIA regulations have mandated that the gooey compound are to be nixed for the 2008 season in an effort to keep costs in check.

As such, teams are looking to employ new tire-monitoring systems that can give drivers real-time data on inflation and temperature, to let them know when a tire should be changed. BERU F1 Systems is just such a supplier, having proven its wares in everything from LeMans to F1 racing.

It strikes us as odd that the FIA's decision to eliminate foam was hailed as a cost-saving measure, considering that this new tire-monitoring system will likely increase the cost of campaigning a WRC vehicle. We'll have to wait until next year to see how the new regs will be implemented and how it will affect the outcome of some of the more grueling races.

[Source: Gizmag]

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