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Bridgestone last won the day on March 7 2016

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  1. One Skill to Improve Your Driving

    The one skill you should practice that will significantly improve your driving. One of the most important driving skills for any driver is to be aware, and it’s scary just how many drivers aren't. Whether you want to be a faster driver or a safer driver, being aware means that you’re better prepared to anticipate what will happen next and ready to tackle it. Being aware when driving involves a few different habits that should be practised all the time. The ingredients to being aware can be summed up with the acronym AGKLM, commonly referred to at driving school as All Good Kids Like Milk, and it goes like this: Aim high when steering. You’re never going to drive fast if you don’t look farther than a few metres in front of the bonnet. It’s important to look ahead and be constantly judging upcoming conditions. As you practise this, you’ll find steering input becomes smoother and braking less hard. This is a skill that will always help too, not just when in traffic or tackling an intense mountain pass. Get the big picture. Create a mental image of where you are in relation to everything around you. Did a sign say the road is about to narrow around the corner and the sun could be in my eyes? Where’s the car I saw in my mirror that could be in my blind spot? Keeping track of other road users and changing conditions in relation to you is an important factor in avoiding accidents and becoming a better driver. Keep moving your eyes. Amazingly, many road users don’t properly correct the mirrors, let alone use them. Make sure you do both and this will feed information into creating a bigger picture of what’s happening around you. Leave an out. Aggressive drivers don’t leave an out so if something does go wrong an accident is almost inevitable - it’s better to leave enough space in front of the car so you can react in time and know what’s around you. This also means when enjoying the capabilities of your car that there’s a margin for error, and that a little understeer or oversteer won’t put you into the opposite lane or a tree. Make yourself visible. Even a road user who is aware might not see you if you sit in their blind spot. Make sure other road users can see you and that you provide proper indication when moving lanes and turning. It’s a pretty simple set of skills that should be taught to all drivers. But even for competent drivers who want to be fast, this most basic skill is the pathway to smoother steering, acceleration, braking, and to being more confident - ingredients to being quick without sacrificing safety. Make yourself visible. Even a road user who is aware might not see you if you sit in their blind spot. Make sure other road users can see you and that you provide proper indication when moving lanes and turning. Have you got a thought on safe driving, or maybe your own tips to share? Let us know in the comments below, or over on our Facebook. LINKS: Bridgestone Australia - Bridgestone Australia Facebook -
  2. Buy 3 tyres and get the 4th FREE* Available on Firestone or Supercat car, SUV or light van tyres. Get 4 Firestone car tyres from $267. Based on RRP of 175/65R14 82H Get 4 Firestone SUV tyres from $477. Based on RRP of 215/65R16 98H Get 4 Firestone light van tyres from $285. Based on RRP of 185R14C 100/102Q Get 4 Supercat car tyres from $207. Based on RRP of 175/70R13 82H Get 4 Supercat SUV tyres from $327. Based on RRP of 205/70R15 96H Get 4 Supercat light van tyres from $270. Based on RRP of 185R14C 100/102Q Get up to $150 cash back^ Available on Bridgestone Potenza tyres for your car. Get 4 Bridgestone Potenza tyres from $480. Based on RRP of 195/60R15 88V Get $100 cash back# Available on Bridgestone Dueler and Alenza tyres for your 4WD or SUV. Get 4 Bridgestone Dueler tyres from $600. Based on RRP of 205/70R15LT 106S Get 4 Bridgestone Alenza tyres from $776. Based on RRP of 215/65R16 98H Click here for more information about Bridgestone’s current offers. Get the full terms and conditions here LINKS: Bridgestone Australia - Bridgestone Australia Facebook -
  3. Getting 4WD Tyre Pressure Right

    I’ve long said that the single best value for money modification you can make to your 4WD that will get you further off-road than anything else, hands down, is tyre pressures. Adjusting air pressure in your tyres can cost you nothing, yet it is the single best thing you can do to your rig across the board to increase performance. Adjusting your tyre pressures increases or decreases your tyres footprint or surface area in contact with the ground. This offers lesser or greater resistance (grip) and alters your tyres reaction to the terrain over which you’re travelling. Starting with the blacktop, I would hazard a guess that I keep an eye on my road pressures at the very least once a month but probably more frequently. A few years back I found on my GU that by increasing my road pressures well above what I had been running them at, I was able to save a litre of diesel per 100kms travelled. Just by getting my on-road pressures correct. It’s like I’m making money now as a result! As soon as I leave the black top and venture on to any other style of terrain for a prolonged distance, I’m instantly thinking pressures. From black top it’s very common to hit high speed gravel (my second favourite terrain to beach driving by the way) and to rack up some big distances on said terrain. Road pressures suck on gravel; it’s uncomfortable for you and your passengers and contributes towards the creation of corrugations. Dropping your pressures, as well as your speed, smooths out the ride, makes it safer. High pressures and gravel combined with speed equals a lack of grip…. hold on! As a very general rule of thumb, for high speed gravel I’ll drop my tyres to around 28PSI. I mentioned corrugations and on some lengths of track they can be utterly diabolical. Head out towards Steep Point, the most westerly point on mainland Australia and you’ll see what I mean. These tracks still allow you to travel with speed but high pressures will just about rattle your rig to pieces. In these conditions Ill drop my pressures into the low 20 PSI range and then adjust my speed to find a comfortable maximum. Next up let’s think about low range conditions, steeps, rocks, ruts, mud and anything else that causes you to engage the stubby lever. It’s in these conditions that traction is key. Low pressures increase the ground surface area that your tyres are in contact with. More contact area, greater possible traction. Also, lower pressures enable your tyres to mould around obstacles, again improving contact, reducing the risk of tyre damage and increasing traction. My go-to starting point for anything low range is 18 PSI. Then we have sand; perhaps the most critical location for correct tyre pressures. As a rule of thumb, as soon as I hit a beach, I drop my tyres to 15 PSI. I then perform a very quick test to see if I’m in the ball park; simply build speed then disengage your gears, stop accelerating and let your 4WD coast to a stop. If your pressure is correct your vehicle will come to a slow and gradual stop. If your pressures are too high, you will stop suddenly as the tyres dig in. This is a fantastic rule to work by and I urge you to give it a crack. Remember the lower your pressures, the slower you must drive and avoid sharp turns as you run the risk of busting a tyre bead, which is a real pain in the backside. Learn to master this art and I assure you, any terrain will be looked upon differently; you’ll drive more efficiently, in more comfort, with greater traction and further, simply thanks to the best value modification you can make, tyre pressures. By Graham Cahill LINKS: Bridgestone Australia - Bridgestone Australia Facebook -
  4. Check out the video above to see how the BMW 635i fared at Sydney Motorsport Park, with the new RE-71Rs. For more information on the Potenza RE-71R, click HERE. Follow us on social media: Bridgestone Australia Facebook Bridgestone Australia Website Bridgestone Australia YouTube
  5. Buy 3 and get the 4th tyre FREE*. Available on Bridgestone Ecopia, Turanza Serenity Plus or Potenza tyres. A fuel saving tyre solution Engineered for Performance Superior safety and comfort. Promotion is valid from 01/04/2018 to 30/04/2018. Click here for more information about Bridgestone’s current offers. Get the full terms and conditions here LINKS: Bridgestone Australia - Bridgestone Australia Facebook -
  6. 5 Game-Changing Vehicle Technologies

    That's a great point! We think another necessity these days are cupholders. Very underrated invention!
  7. The Golden Era of Turbocharging

    The turbocharger was once a little-known technology reserved for performance cars and high-end stuff, but now it’s mainstream and is expected on most new cars. The push for turbocharged engines is simply a result of tightening emissions targets that can’t be achieved with fuel-hungry, normally aspirated engines. In a nutshell, a turbocharger is a turbine that spins when exhaust gases pass it, causing its other side to spin and compress incoming air. The compressed air contains more oxygen thus detonating better in the engine, providing more power. Once the compressed air enters the engine, the computer sends more fuel than normal to help it detonate, so more power is generated, but if the engine is not revving hard - or there’s not much throttle input - the engine only uses as much fuel as it would when normally aspirated. The result is as much power as a bigger engine when you want it, but with the efficiency of a smaller engine when you don’t. Traditionally, the secret to gaining more power was to have a bigger engine. And it’s true, to an extent. But the efficiency of modern turbochargers, combined with direct fuel injection, means that small engines can now punch above their weight when it comes to power. And even better, it’s able to maintain the fuel economy expected of the smaller engine size. More manufacturers are now adding turbocharged engines to their line-ups – even larger vehicles such as SUVs – which are increasingly featuring small, four-cylinder turbocharged engines as the main power plant. The introduction of powerful, reliable turbocharged engines that are smaller in size are having such an impact that traditional naming convention is going out the window. BMW’s 330i, which was once a 3-series with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, is now a 3-series with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, for example. Up the pointy end of the spectrum, we’re also seeing a departure of normal aspirated engines from supercars, replaced with smaller, lighter and more powerful turbocharged variants. Eventually, as emissions targets tighten even more, we’ll see manufacturers combining smaller turbocharged engines with electric hybrid technology, all in a bid to lower pollution but provide similar levels of power provided by the traditional internal combustion engine Are you team turbo, or do you only have time for big, grunty engines? Post a comment below or over on Bridgestone Australia’s Facebook. LINKS: Bridgestone Australia - Bridgestone Australia Facebook -
  8. 5 Game-Changing Vehicle Technologies

    It’s easy to forget just how much the car you drive has changed over time. While most of your car’s technology has been widely introduced with safety in mind, much of the tech also has its origins on the race track. Here are 5 of the most game-changing technologies to ever be introduced to your car. 1. Forced Induction Forced induction is the compression of intake air resulting in more oxygen entering each cylinder, generating more power. Both turbochargers and superchargers can do this, but a turbocharger is the common choice today. Early examples of turbocharged engines didn’t produce much boost pressure when in the low rev range and suffered from ‘turbo lag’, however, modern twin scroll turbine design and technology has allowed for boost to be reached much earlier. But in an effort to lower vehicle emissions the addition of turbos to smaller engines is seeing the demise of bigger, naturally-aspirated units. 2. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control (TC) Early traction control systems were a safety mechanism introduced to reduce wheel spin and the loss of control in slippery conditions. But for careless drivers it also meant they needn't worry about erroneous throttle input. Modern ESC and TC has now evolved to the point that it can allow a vehicle to drive on its absolute limit without fear of losing it. The latest Ford Focus RS is one example where power is modulated at each wheel and perfectly calculated according to the amount of steering and throttle input. 3. Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) A technology originally developed for racing, DCT gearboxes allow rapid gear changes and other tricks such as launch control. Inside a DCT are two clutches – one for even gears and one for odd gears. This means when driving in either an even or odd gear the other clutch is able to engage the next cog. The result is rapid gear changes without losing acceleration. It has also led to features such as launch control, which helps shoot the Nissan GT-R Nismo from 0-100km/h in just 2.7sec. 4. Electric Motors Full electric and hybrid cars were once something reserved for eco-warriors, but the technology is now used in many new supercars that can accelerate as fast as some of the quickest petrol-powered rivals. The advantage of an electric motor over an internal combustion engine is that it provides full torque from 0rpm. Of course, it would be impossible to provide 800Nm from 0rpm because of traction and that thing called physics, so, electric cars usually have all-wheel drive and rely on sophisticated traction control algorithms. The Tesla Model S P100D uses a full electric powertrain to accelerate 0-100km/h in just 2.7sec... But there’s the even faster Ferrari LaFerrari that produces 708kw and 900Nm of power from its hybrid electric 6.3-litre V12 driveline and rockets 0-300km/h in under 15.0sec. 5. Fuel Injection Perhaps the days of fuel injection are numbered as more electric cars enter the market, but in the 1980s it replaced the long-trusted carburettor when emissions testing required a more efficient fuel delivery. Early systems weren’t great but fuel injection was rapidly revolutionised and helped lead the way to increasing turbocharger boost pressure, shutting down cylinders when cruising for economy and lowering emissions. What has been your favourite development in the world of car tech? What are you excited about in the future? Share your thoughts below or join the conversation on Facebook. LINKS: Bridgestone Australia - Bridgestone Australia Facebook -
  9. Buy 3 and get the 4th tyre FREE*. Available on Bridgestone Ecopia, Potenza, Turanza Serenity Plus or Supercat tyres. A fuel saving tyre solution Engineered for Performance Superior safety and comfort. Excellent value performer. Promotion is valid from 25/02/2018 to 31/03/2018. Click here for more information about Bridgestone’s current offers. Get the full terms and conditions here LINKS: Bridgestone Australia - Bridgestone Australia Facebook -
  10. Recently, the guys at Downshift were given the chance to review the Bridestone Potenza RE-71R tyre. Here’s what they had to say! Recently we were given the opportunity to test out Bridgestone’s newest semi-slick, the Potenza RE-71R, which boasts superior performance on the street as well as on track due to it’s UltimateEYE technology. So we set out to test just that. The first guinea pig was to be my own John Player Special E30 BMW 323i. We opted for the largest size that would fit in my guards without scraping, and went with a 215/45/16. I’m (cursed) lucky enough to live in Canberra, which means more than enough roundabouts as well as the usual city streets and parkways to put the tyres through their paces! I was fortunate enough that we also had a few days of rain while I had the tyres fitted, which meant I was able to try them out in the wet. I found myself gaining more and more confidence entering corners and roundabouts without breaking traction (which shouldn’t be too hard with an LSD and a short wheelbase) Due to their unique angled lateral groove design, they expel large amounts of water to keep the responsiveness in the wet as close as possible to dry. At one point on my travels, I was also sharply reminded that I had the RE-71Rs on when I encountered roadkill, and had to manoeuvre sharply to avoid it. The response was such that it almost felt like the car could have performed a 90-degree turn. Normally this should have scared a person, but that was when I had my “wow” moment of realisation of just how hard the tyres grab the road. We even kept them on for an interstate trip from Canberra to Melbourne & back for one of our Melbourne Downshift meets. While they did sit nicely on the highway, the one downside is that I found they were on the noisy side for such a long trip. Obviously not an issue for most people who will be opting for semis. The next challenge was to try them out on the track, however due to my BMW not being up to the task when the time came, we put the word out for somebody that also had an oddly sized 16″ rim to test them. That’s when I was contacted by Andrew Grosse, who owns a gorgeous shark nose BMW 635CSi 24hr Group A Spa replica, running an M30B35 with a M30B34 bottom end (a 3.4L slant-6 for those not familiar with BMW engines). A few chats back and forth and Andrew had a track day booked at Sydney Motorsport Park and we had the tyres sent up to him. Fast forward a few weeks, and we were finally going to get to push the Potenza RE-71Rs to their limits, while Andrew got to play racecar in his gorgeous machine. After a few warm up laps and battling the usual track day demons, a control time on a different set of tyres was recorded of a 1.59.163 on the Gardner GP circuit. Then, it was time to fit the Bridgestone Potenza RE-71Rs. Andrew found himself becoming more and more confident coming into corners, even holding higher gears in corners 4 through to 6. The proof would be in the laptimes though, and he finished the day with a PB of 1.55.847 recorded! After a debrief on the day I could tell Andrew was quite happy with the track performance of the tyres, especially given that these tyres had a smaller rolling diameter than his usual 245/50/16. He strongly believed that on a set of RE-71Rs in his usual size would allow even more time to be shaved off his PB again. By Adam Vhalos For more information on the Potenza RE-71R, click HERE. LINKS: Bridgestone Australia - Bridgestone Australia Facebook -
  11. Bridgestone RE-71R Review

    Fullboost recently gave their Project GSR Lancer a shakedown at Sandown Raceway wearing a fresh set of Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R rubber. Check out their Bridgestone RE-71R review in the video above. For more information on the Potenza RE-71R, click HERE. LINKS: Bridgestone Australia - Bridgestone Australia Facebook -
  12. As essential as fuel in the tank and air in the tyres is a good tool kit in the boot. It won’t take up much room and it will keep you from waiting for (potentially expensive) help to arrive. Most of the 12 items in this list will fit into a small tool or tackle box, and will cost about as much as a call-out fee from a mechanic. 1. Cable ties Cable (or ‘zip ties’) are always handy to have around. From holding a pranged bumper together to keeping a hose connected, cable ties have saved the day on many occasions. 2. Jumper cables Many people have been asked for a set of jumper cables, and many don’t keep a pair in the boot...don’t get caught out. Just remember the order - connect dead battery positive terminal to good battery positive terminal, then connect good battery negative to bad battery negative or the manufacturer’s jumper point (on newer cars, read the manual). 3. Jack and tyre iron Most cars should have these, but if you don’t, you could find yourself in a bad spot! The process of jacking a car to change a tyre is extremely straight forward but there are some basic safety protocols to observe – familiarise yourself with the process so that you can perform it flawlessly when the time comes. 4. Socket and spanner set Size 10mm-22mm should take care of most bolts – for newer cars you’ll be looking for a quality ‘metric’ set (measured in ‘mm’), and for older cars an ‘imperial’ set (measured in fractions of an inch). 5. Screwdriver (Flat and Philips head) A big one and a small one should take care of most situations. 6. Fuses Newer cars may take both the big and the mini type, so make sure you have enough handy. Some cars also come loaded with a few spares in the factory fuse box – just be sure to restock any that you use so you’re never caught out again! 7. Fire extinguisher In-car fires are a real thing and can be caused by any number of vehicle malfunctions, from leaking oil to electrical fires. A small powder type extinguisher will take care of most types of expected fires. 8. Torch Unfortunately, you can’t pick the time of day something goes wrong. 9. Pliers Good for pulling fuses or cutting wire; a Leatherman-style multi-tool is even better. 10. Tape Stronger gaffer tape can solve most problems, including noisy backseat occupants. 11. Stanley knife and/or scissors For cutting things, of course! 12. Workshop manual If you’re doing some remote driving or like to get your hands dirty, a model-specific workshop manual will show you how to remove every single bolt in the car and put it back together again. Are there any vehicle must-haves that we’ve missed? Reply to this post below, or let us know in the comments on Facebook. LINKS: Bridgestone Australia - Bridgestone Australia Facebook -
  13. Save more on fourWhen you buy 3 tyres, you'll get the 4th for $10!Luxury Touring!Buy 3 Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus car tyres and get the 4th for only $10*. Total cost from $385.Based on RRP of 205/65R15.Buy 3 Supercat car, SUV or light van tyres and get the 4th for only $10*. Total cost from $217.Based on RRP of 175/70R13. Promotion is valid from 25/12/2017 to 27/01/2018. Click here for more information about Bridgestone’s current offers. Get the full terms and conditions here LINKS: Bridgestone Australia - Bridgestone Australia Facebook -
  14. How does fuel quality vary around the world – petrol and diesel – and who has the best fuel, who has the worst, and why? There’s plenty of oil out there but the process to change it from thick black crud to refined unleaded petrol is as laborious as it is expensive. An intensive scientific process, the process of refining oil varies around the world depending on the destination market, resulting in drastically varying qualities of fuel over the world. Clean unleaded petrol ideally has a low amount of sulphur and less than 1mg/L of sediment (dirt). It’s near impossible to remove all contaminants so there’s always a bit found in any fuel. In addition to cleaning the fuel, a detergent is added. Detergent is in all unleaded petrol and diesel fuels - it helps clean things in the engine like the valves, injectors and internal combustion chambers. It also has the added benefit of lowering emissions. The benefits of detergent mean a great deal to manufacturers because it can help an engine remain in good condition (which prevents warranty repairs) while lowering emissions. However, for a long time, there was no mandatory requirement of just how clean fuel should be and how much detergent it could contain. As a result, in the 1980s when fuel injection started to hit the scene, it wasn’t uncommon for the fuel in circulation to block fuel injectors! More recently however, car manufacturers in the US rallied together to create a regulated fuel called ‘Top Tier’. Top Tier promises a minimum of two to three times the detergents than in fuel from ‘regular’ outlets. In testing, it provides visibly better engine care and lower emissions. There’s also the World Fuel Charter that dictates all unleaded fuel should have less than 1mg/L of sediment and less than 30g/KG of sulphur. This all sounds good, but even Down Under, things aren’t perfect. In Australia, our fuel contains around 150ppm sulphur which compares poorly to Japan, South Korea, Europe and the US where fuel contains 10ppm. Our fuel also contains a greater amount of aromatics which make it smell sweet and improve the octane rating, but also mean it’s dirtier. There’s also very little regulation or clarity around detergents in any given fuel. So, Australia is about middle of the road when it comes to fuel quality and pales in comparison to the US, Europe and some Asian countries. But who has the worst fuel? Some of the larger refineries in Europe export fuel to Africa, and samples taken in Togo, Ghana, and Cote d'Ivoire showed sulphur levels of over 3,000ppm, or 300 times that of Europe. Of course this fuel was far cheaper to make, and because Africa was an unregulated country, the exporters could effectively get away with it. Things are changing though and better fuel standards are being set worldwide. In Africa, ultra-low-sulphur diesel is beginning to be offered and regulations have been brought forward to ensure all fuels imported have a maximum sulphur level of 50ppm - less than that of Australia. Got an opinion on fuel quality? We’d love to hear from you, share it in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook. LINKS: Bridgestone Australia - Bridgestone Australia Facebook -
  15. Tough enough to bring you back. For Luxury SUVs. Promotion is valid from 25/12/2017 to 27/01/2018. Click here for more information about Bridgestone’s current offers. Get the full terms and conditions here LINKS: Bridgestone Australia - Bridgestone Australia Facebook -