Goodyear to return to Le Mans 24 hours and World Endurance Championship
Goodyear has announced that it will re-enter European and International sportscar racing by developing a new range of tyres for the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), including the Le Mans 24-hour race.
Goodyear has chosen sportscar racing for the first step of its World Championship racing comeback as it provides a strong platform for demonstrating tyre technologies on a wide range of different prototype and GT cars, as Motorsport Director, Ben Crawley, explains: “The nature of the races, which vary from 4 hours to 24 hours, means tyre choice and strategy are critical and it provides a motivating challenge for our technology team in our European innovation centres ahead of exploring other racing opportunities for the brand.”
Goodyear has been developing a new range of tyres for Le Mans Prototypes for over a year at its innovation centres in Hanau, Germany and Colmar-Berg in Luxembourg. The tyres will be developed and manufactured alongside Goodyear’s latest range of Eagle F1 SuperSport tyres for performance and track-day cars, ensuring that the technology and knowledge transfer between the road and race ranges is optimised to benefit the performance of both. The tyres will debut at the start of the 2019/2020 WEC season at Silverstone in August.
This comeback marks the return of the famous brand to global sportscar racing at one of racing’s most iconic venues. With over 250,000 attendees, Le Mans is one of the largest single attendance sporting events in the world. “Motorsport continues to be one of the most popular global sports,” Crawley continued. “It is an ideal platform for us to engage with consumers around the heritage, passion, innovation and technology that make up Goodyear’s story in racing.
“We will focus on sportscar racing at first, before applying learnings to other categories of racing, which could be within the endurance arena or in other racing series.”