ROSAMOND, Calif. (July 17, 2015) — Michelin North America Inc.'s BFGoodrich brand and TEN: The Enthusiast Network have named a Redlands, Calif., resident the nation's top amateur performance driver after participating in a two-day on- and off-road driving competition at Willow Springs International Raceway in Rosamond.
Mike Iler won the BFG/TEN Driver Enough Challenge competing against 55 other amateur drivers, where they drove two high-horsepower vehicles, the 2015 Ford Mustang GT and 2014 Ford Raptor, on the two courses. By winning, Mr. Iler will be given a chance to compete in a professionally sanctioned race series.
The Mustang was outfitted with BFG g-Force COMP-2 A/S ultra-high performance tires while the Raptor ran on BFG All-Terrain T/A KO2.
Drivers were asked to perform on a customized road course, BFG said, as well as a rough and demanding off-road track at Willow Springs International Raceway in Rosamond, Calif. The road course had participants ride through a series of fast straights, tight corners and a host of elevation changes. Additionally, adjacent to the road course, a rugged off-road track was designed to test the drivers' skills behind the wheel on rocky terrain.
The Driver Enough Challenge champion was determined by the fastest combined lap times from both on- and off-road courses. Michelin said celebrity BFGoodrich performance pro driver Andrew Comrie-Picard and off-road pro driver Brad Lovell participated as expert instructors to set baseline lap times on their respective courses for the challengers to beat. Mr. Iler won a set of Goodrich tires in addition to the chance to race professionally.
BFG has arranged for Mr. Iler to compete in final Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge MX-5 Cup series race of the season at Road Atlanta on Oct. 1-2 after being coached by BFG performance driver and instructor Terry Earwood and the team at Skip Barber Driving School in Braselton, Ga.
Gardner Nichols from Boulder, Colo., took second, while Wade Koehl from Cypress, Texas, was third.
“I couldn't believe how great the BFGoodrich Tires performed for me,” Mr. Iler said.
“The rear-end grip is awesome, which makes it easier to handle the courses. I want to thank BFGoodrich for this amazing experience. It feels great to be a champion.”
Through an integrated partnership, Michelin said BFGoodrich Tires and TEN: The Enthusiast Network selected six amateurs based on videos they submitted displaying their driving talents and gave them an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the challenge.