Our History

Tyre Warmers - A 38-Year-Old Verwood man has scored a notable success in the highly charged and competitive world of Formula One Grand Prix racing. He is Mike Drury, founder and proprietor of M A Horne Tyre Tec England Ltd, who provide high technology tyre warmers to virtually all the Grand Prix teams.

Mike At Williams

It all started in 1985 when Mike accidentally recorded the European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch on his video. Until then he had not been a great enthusiast for the sport, but that has all changed now and his home is decorated with photos of the stars of the G.P scene and models of their cars. "It was November and very cold and I saw that the teams were trying to keep the cars' tyres warm by wrapping them in blankets and duvets," said Mike. "It occurred to me, since I was already in the business of making weatherproof jackets and anoraks, that here was an opportunity for a more creative approach."

At the time the cars were turbo-charged and used to practice "weaving" to warm up their tyres on the parade lap before the start. This not only wears the tyre tread unnecessarily, it increases the tyre pressure and distorts the tread pattern on the road. Mike's idea was to develop specially tailored tyre covers which would be electrically heated to bring the tyres up to their working temperature and keep them there until the race started. Racing tyres just don't deliver the correct amount of adhesion with the track until they are at their operating temperature.

Mike set to work and produced an experimental set of covers which he tried to interest the Williams team in adopting. It was hard at first as they kept saying they didn't need any help in this direction. Finally, he persuaded the team to try out his idea - and then found that thay had been using the equipment to keep the computers rather than the tyres warm. Nevertheless, this was a starting point, and with the aid of some development money from Williams, Mike kept on trying until he perfected the idea. The big breakthrough came at Jerez in Spain, when Nigel Mansell used pre-warmed tyres at a last minute pit- stop only a few laps from the end of the race. Experts such as the BBC's Murray Walker predicted on air that such a late stop would lose him places as he wouldn't be able to go fast until they had warmed up. But they didn't know about Mike's "secret weapon".

Mike's Warmers On Ayrton Senna's Tyrell

In the event, Nigel blasted away from his pit-stop, sweeping from fifth place to second and only losing to Ayrton Senna by four tenths of a second. The other team managers were quick to recognise the value of this development and were soon knocking on Mike's door. So that now he has the full "team strip" for all the major Grand Prix teams, so that as he goes from pit to pit, he is correctly attired.

This leads to some amusing consequences, when other privileged pit strollers, such as journalists and broadcasters say to him: "Do you have a twin brother in this line?"

Mike is now able to indulge his passion for superb sports cars, driving a black Porsche Carrera with a MAD cherished number. He is also in the process of restoring an interesting Jaguar XK 150S.

Source: Weekly Post - 1st October 1993 by Erik Johnson

Related Link: Here

Help Desk

Mail This Page

Call Back

Search

Info Center

Make Home Page

Print This Page

Email Us

Navigation

Legal Stuff

Disclaimer

Validation

Valid WC3 | CSS