Goodyear is to re-enter European and international sportscar racing from the 2019/2020 season, beginning with the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The well-known series involves long-distance races on four continents with the famous Le Mans 24 Hours season finale, a race which Goodyear-equipped cars have won on 14 occasions.
Goodyear has chosen sportscar racing for the first step of its racing comeback as it provides a strong platform for demonstrating tire technologies on a wide range of prototype and GT cars.
Motorsport director, Ben Crawley, explained, “The nature of the races, which vary from four hours to 24 hours, means tire choice and strategy are critical and it provides a motivating challenge for our technology team in our European innovation centers ahead of exploring other racing opportunities for the brand.”
Goodyear has been developing a new range of tires for Le Mans prototype cars for more than a year at its facilities in Hanau, Germany, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg. The tires will be developed and manufactured alongside Goodyear’s latest range of Eagle F1 SuperSport tires for performance and trackday cars, ensuring that the technology and knowledge transfer between the road and race ranges is optimized to benefit the performance of both.
“Motorsport continues to be one of the most popular global sports. 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,” commented Crawley.
“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.”