In 1972, Ontario racers Al Mason of Schomberg along with King City’s Harry Bytzek and his brother Klaus, were approached by BFGoodrich Canada with what at that time was considered a ridiculous proposition..to race their cars on street radials. The idea was to develop and market a high performance radial tire that would stand the rigours of top level road racing thus making a marketable product for the consumer. So, after testing the 427 Corvette and Porsche 914/6 with these street tires called “Radial T/A,s” they struck a deal. So for the next three seasons, this duo ran the Eastern Canadian Endurance series as well as selected regional races. French Canadian racer and journalist Jacques Duval was paired with Al in the Corvette, Harry and Klaus in the Porsche. After three seasons of competition, BFG could boast about not one tire failure. Mind you, compared to a pure race tire, they were very slippery, but seldom needed a replacement during the races which lasted between three and ten gruelling hours. Due to this development, today a large percentage of race cars currently compete on performance street radials with great success and reliability. This also has lead to the advances in street tire technology which keep us safe today. It’s all thanks to pioneers in the field such as the B.F.Goodrich Tire Company and racers such as Al and Harry shown here in their first promo shot.
Written by Perry M. Mason
Photo from Mason Racing Archives