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Nokian test track Ivalo: white hell for winter tires turns 30

Nokian test track Ivalo
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I valo - never heard of it? Just ask the winter tires on your car. The Ivalo test center is located in the Arctic Circle around 300 kilometers north of Rovaniemi, Santa's home village, and is considered one of the largest, most complex, toughest and, thanks to the weather conditions, most extreme of its kind. However, gifts are not given there. Tires have to earn their spurs here. In addition to the owner Nokian, Ivalo also serves numerous car manufacturers to get approvals for winter tires on their cars. Various winter driving training courses are also held here. And auto motor unsd sport also uses the more than 700 hectare area for test purposes.

Temperature fluctuations of 40 degrees

The test track is mostly used from November to May. During this period of frost - around 200 days a year - more than 20,000 tires are tested. The professional drivers are on the road day and night and achieve more than 40,000 test kilometers per season. The entire test area comprises 20 test tracks with a total length of more than 100 kilometers, including a 700 meter long “ice rink”, which enables tests to be carried out continuously under any weather conditions. In addition to professional test drivers, modern robotic vehicles are also used, for example to ensure that individual tests are repeated exactly.

During the winter months, temperatures in Ivalo drop well below freezing point. In spring, on the other hand, temperature differences of up to 40 degrees are sometimes measured within 24 hours.

The maintenance of the test tracks is extremely demanding, as the snow and ice conditions have to be comparable in order to obtain reliable and meaningful test results. For example, they have a uniform snow thickness and an ice surface that is constantly roughened and cleaned.


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