AVON TYRES HISTORY
Since 1885 Avon has been producing tyres for highway use, becoming synonymous with some of the great British marques such as Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Land Rover and Caterham who fit Avon tyres as original equipment.
Avon’s involvement in motorsport dates back to the 1950’s. The highlight of this era was the winning of the 1959 World Sports Car Championship with Aston Martin; including the Le Mans 24 Hour Race with Roy Salvadori and Carol Shelby at the wheel of car number 5. Avon returned to the manufacture of racing tyres in 1980. Since then, as one of the leading suppliers to the motorsport industry we have built a reputation for technical excellence.
In 1981 the Wiltshire company (named after the banks of the river Avon, on which its manufacturing facilities lay) returned to the supplying of motor racing teams with a specially formed division; Avon Tyres Racing.
Since then the successes has been phenomenal as Avon rubber has kept countless champions very much on track. 30 plus British F3 titles have been won on Avons, 17 FIA F3000 titles and countless other championships from Formula Ford to European Rallycross. In World Sportscars, Aston Martin, Spice, and Ecurie Ecosse proved victorious in 1985, ’86 and ’87 with further SR2 World Championships in 2000, ‘01, ‘03 for Pilbeam, and Lola. In America the ALMS championship fell to Lola MG’s in 2000 and 2001. Ayrton Senna won the F3 championship on Avon tyres, as have Mika Hakkinen, Rubens Barichello and Takuma Sato. Jean Alesi took the spoils in the FIA F3000 championship to be followed in latter years by Ricardo Zonta, Juan Pablo Montoya and Nick Heidfeld. Jenson Button won the Formula Ford Championship and Festival in 1998, and then continued into F3 and on to be F1 Drivers Champion in 2009.
Avon racing tyres are now supplied to contracted series such as FIA Formula 2, Formula 3, British GT, Formula Ford, Caterham, SPEED Euroseries, British Formula 1 Side Car Championship and V de V. Along with many others our global distributors take care of almost every weekend of the year.
Since the dedicated production unit was opened it has been expanded to meet ever increasing market needs. This facility enables us to respond swiftly to rapid changes in the market for competition tyres; with both radial and crossply technology.
In 1997 Avon Tyres Ltd became part of the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. Avon Tyres Racing operates within the company now called Cooper-Avon Tyres Ltd. The takeover by Cooper has accelerated the investment programme.
Avon provides a wide range of sizes and specifications covering nearly all motorsport activity. A key element in Avon’s continuing success is our commitment to research and development programmes which maintain competitive advantage.
Avon Tyres Racing are committed to providing a high standard of service back-up both at the trackside and from our Melksham base. Experienced sales and technical teams are available to provide advice to motorsport competitors world-wide.
Motorsport director of Avon, Julian Baldwin explains, ‘Our racing business is a core part of the company’s activities. For many years, Avon has been a leader in the development of motorsport tyres. It brings tremendous benefits to our road tyre business through enhanced technical development and product performance.’
As Avon Tyres Racing continues to expand, it dominates more and more racing series across the entire globe, in 2009 alone there were approaching 200 championship winners who depended upon Avon for their accomplishments. You can find out more about the various championships that have been won using Avon Motorsport Tyres over the past decade.