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18/06/2014

LeCont at the peak of…electronic innovation

Sometimes David beats Goliath, also in short distances and sprint. Even though in the karting World you find yourself battling with industrial giants in the tyre sector, the (relatively) small LeCont has been the first company to apply the RFID technology (identification through a radio frequency signal) to the tyres used in motorsports!

Such system is made of a microchip positioned inside the carcass of the tyre that, passing by a sensor, permits the immediate recognition of the tyre and of the driver to whom the tyre has been assigned.

A motorsports discipline which is somehow in miniature, karting has always been the real practicing jym of the F1 champions of tomorrow, but often it is also the area of technical innovation. LeCont has confirmed this point bringing in 2012 for the first time the RFID technology (which is an electronic label integrated in the tyres) in occasion of the U18 World Championship ran in Barhain. This has been a very first time in the motorsports racing World, and has brought, two years from then, other FIA (and not only) motorsports categories to include such system.

Thanks to LeCont... ”...karting has once more demonstrated not only to be the school of tomorrow’s champions, but also to be a real research laboratory for technological development.”, was the comment on the official FIA web site of the vice-president of the International Federation Karting Commission, the Dutch Kees van de Grint.”A little more than 50 years ago, karting had introduced the first slick tyres on track. Today karting is precursor once again with the RFID introduced by LeCont, which offers great advantages in terms of saving time and personnel, with technical controls which are strongly simplified and accelerated. The future is this and it is evident that soon this technology will be used far beyond karting".

Formula 1 looks, in fact, since some time and with high interest to such technology. LeCont is ready...

Today, with the complete “RFID Inside – Smartyre” developed in collaboration with the Dutch company FERM and introduced in a race by LeCont, it is possible to identify in one single passage under the special LeCont electronic portal (ironically named “Check point Charlie”) all the four tyres mounted on the kart and eventually also the two additional spare tyres positioned on the trolley used to carry the kart. This can be done when the kart is entering the pre-grid and also at the exit towards the paddock after end of race: so before and after the kart race. Still, LeCont has wanted to go further, and last year in occasion of the 24 Hours of Le Mans karting 2013, when the special reading portal had been mounted in the box lane and LeCont technicians had had the possibility to check and identify the tyres mounted on the karts that passed by the box lane, before and after each stop for refueling during the race.

Thanks to the system developed by LeCont that permits more than 200 readings per second of each RFID, it is in fact possible to proceed with the check of the identity of each tyre while the kart is racing. In the future this system will be a radical evolution to the tyre control procedure. There are also many other novelties which are being studied on this topic, so that in the future the system will be additionally developed and will permit to communicate immediately, for example, the number of km ran buy each tyre".

Useful link:
http://www.fia.com/news/multiple-novelties-bahrain-even-tyres
http://www.cikfia.com/newsroom/view/article/multiple-novelties-in-bahrain-even-in-tyres.html
http://www.italiaracing.net/notizia.asp?id=42926&cat=77
http://www.tkart.it/public/it/news/hot-news/3936-le-cont-al-mondiale-cik-fia-under-18-con-le-gomme-del-futuro-rfid-technology.html