Nokian Tyres made a world record possible: Car pushing is a game of skill, not brute force
A new Guinness World Record for the fastest time to push a car one mile (1.6 km) has been set in Finland. The record was set by Jussi Kallioniemi, who says that this is not a test of brute force but rather an enormous puzzle. A key piece of the performance were the lightly rolling Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 SUV winter tires and their extremely light rolling resistance.
13 minutes and 26 seconds. This is how long it took Jussi Kallioniemi, from Nokia, to push a passenger car, weighing 2,100 kilograms, for one mile (or exactly 1,609.34 meters) in order to claim the world record in his name. This result improves on the previous record by nearly two minutes. Guinness has officially confirmed the world record for “Fastest time to push a car one mile”.
The record was set on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at the Nokian Tyres test track in Nokia. For the performance, Kallioniemi used his own car, a 2006 Saab affectionately known as “Röhkö”. Technical Customer Service Manager Matti Morri from Nokian Tyres was in the driver’s seat.
– People often tell me that I don’t look like a strongman – and I’m not one. This was a performance comparable to a medium-distance run, not a show of force. There are two ways to achieve the power you need: either increase your own strength or reduce resistance, Kallioniemi says.
When pushing a car, the important part is to defeat the rolling resistance, so the lower the rolling resistance of your tires is, the lighter the car will roll. Rolling resistance refers to the energy consumed by the tire’s deformation during road contact. This is also an important topic for regular drivers. A tire with low rolling resistance is a green and economical choice.
– Even older cars can roll lightly when equipped with safe and comfortable non-studded premium winter tires like the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 SUV. Provided that the tire pressures are in check, using tires with low rolling resistance can save up to 0.5 liters of fuel per 100 km or substantially extend an electric vehicle’s range even in the winter. At the same time, you are conserving the environment due to the lower CO2 emissions, Morri says.
Well-being and problem-solving
The idea of pushing a car came about by accident. Jussi Kallioniemi was suffering from back pains and started rehabilitation therapy by pushing a heavy box at the gym. At some point, he started thinking about what else he could do and, through his search, he found the idea of car pushing on the Guinness website.
Kallioniemi says that he is not that interested in whether he finishes first or last in a race. Instead, he is interested in problem-solving and managing the big picture. The project even resulted in an invention that has a pending patent application. Together with his friend, Kallioniemi created a remote controller that allowed him to turn the wheel himself during practice runs, without using a driver.
– If this had been simply about brute force, I wouldn’t have had the energy to follow through with the project. My motivation is built around finding new problems to solve. When you are stretching yourself to the extreme limits, it matters when you can make it one or two percent lighter, Kallioniemi says.
– We have been working very systematically and persistently. We have moved from the large blocks toward even smaller details. A normal middle-aged man can take on a world record challenge if they take everything into account and try to get the car rolling as lightly as possible.
Brought together by the will to develop
Kallioniemi has been training at the Nokian Tyres test track in Nokia, Finland, where the premium tire manufacturer also has its headquarters. He and the global tire company are brought together by their similar attitudes.
– Our passion for tire development is similar to Jussi’s passion for training. We test our products to the extremes in all conditions. Human well-being is also very important to us. The body and mind must be in balance in order to refine our Scandinavian know-how and creativity into the world’s safest, eco-friendliest tires. This brings peace of mind for all of us, says Matti Morri from Nokian Tyres.
Versatile data on the record performance
The record-setting performance utilized and gathered many types of data, as the project also involved Myontec Oy, which specializes in smart clothing and muscle monitoring, and the sports electronics company Polar Electro Oy.
– Jussi has been using a Polar monitor in his training, and he contacted us for measuring the record attempt. It was easy for us to get involved, as we saw that the record attempt is on solid ground thanks to good, versatile training. Over the years, Polar’s products have been used in outer space and in Formula 1 race cars, so measuring a record attempt sounded like a great challenge. During the performance, Jussi followed his plan exactly and did not start off too hard. The data produced by the multi-sensor unit measuring Jussi’s performance was sent in real-time to the backend service using the latest in IoT radio technology, says Smart Coaching Manager Ville Uronen From Polar.
Maximum heart rate during the performance was very low, only 164 beats per minute, even though the speed temporarily increased over the first 100 meters and reached 10.4 km/h. Muscle activity was approximately 41% of the measured maximum value. Around the middle point of the performance, Jussi was using 35% of his muscle power.
- The activity level was higher on the left side, on the front and back thigh muscles and gluteal muscles, which indicates muscle balance, but was also likely due to the fact that the track was circular in shape. Muscle load remains moderate, which allows for a steady performance and avoids heavy muscle fatigue. Jussi’s training has been very successful. His strength control was admirable during the record performance, as he was pushing the car while only using 35–40% of his maximum, says expert Heidi Jarske from Myontec.
– Success gives me a boost of energy and enjoyment. I feel like the final piece of the puzzle has fallen into place, Kallioniemi says.
Fact: Jussi Kallioniemi
– 47 years old, lives in Nokia with his family
– Holder of the world record for “Fastest time to push a car one mile”
– He has previously set the record for “Fastest marathon carrying a 60 lb (27.2 kg) pack”: 4 h 34 min 24s
– Increased his muscle strength and stamina especially in 2019
– About 600 km of training in car pushing during 2020
– Invented a remote control for training, has a pending patent for it
Fact: Record-setting vehicle “Röhkö”
– Saab 97-X 5.3i Arc
– Engine: 5.3 l V8, 304 hp
– Weight 2,170 kg
– More than 211,000 km (131,000 miles) on the odometer
– Runs on biogas
– Lets out a nice groan when starting (“röhkäisy” in Finnish)
– Nordic non-studded wintertire, winner of multiple tests
– Perfect combination of safety and driving comfort for any winter weather
– Cryo Crystal 3 grip particles in the rubber compound grip the driving surface
– Snow Claws between the tread blocks further increase grip
– Offers fuel savings and increases EV range
– Number one choice for greener driving
– Tire size used for the record: 255/55 R18
World record holder Jussi Kallioniemi,
tel. +358 400 966 558, email@example.com
Manager, Content & Product Marketing Teemu Sainio,
Nokian Tyres plc, tel. +358 10 401 7296, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nokian Tyres is the world’s northernmost tire manufacturer and one of the most sustainable companies in the industry. We offer peace of mind in all conditions by developing high-quality, safe and eco-friendly tires for passenger cars, trucks and heavy machinery. We are especially well known for our innovative winter tires. Our group also includes the Vianor chain, specializing in vehicle maintenance and tire services. In 2019, the company’s turnover was approximately EUR 1.6 billion and it employed some 4,700 people. Nokian Tyres is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. Further information: www.nokiantyres.com