Goodyear is making a return to the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The tire manufacturer announced its global racing comeback ahead of June’s Le Mans 24-hour race, confirming that it will develop tires for the 2019/2020 WEC season, which begins in Silverstone on September 1.
Goodyear has been developing a new range of tires for Le Mans Prototypes for over a year at its innovation centers in Hanau, Germany and Colmar-Berg in Luxembourg. The first phase of this development plan is to introduce five new specifications of tire for the highly competitive LMP2 class in WEC. This class, for 600hp prototypes, is one of the most demanding in WEC as it features a battle between tire manufacturers.
During the Prologue this weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Jota Sport, Jackie Chan DC Racing, High Class Racing and TDS teams will sample Goodyear’s tires. The WEC regulations allow tire manufacturers to supply a range of three dry weather, one intermediate and one wet weather tire to racing teams. Goodyear will use the Prologue, followed by a three-day private test at the same circuit next week, to evaluate tire designs. It will then reveal its 2019/2020 WEC range at the Silverstone season opener.
Ben Crawley, director of Goodyear Racing EMEA, explained, “For the Goodyear comeback, we are aiming high to deliver performance for our teams. The 2018/2019 WEC season featured an intense battle between tire manufacturers. Our priority has been to offer driveability and consistency that provides the teams with a significant step forward. These test sessions will allow us to evaluate the all-new range options against the competition before we define our range at Silverstone. For the forthcoming season, Goodyear will focus on delivering success in LMP2 while evaluating other racing options for 2020 and beyond. These could be in other WEC classes or in other international racing categories.”
The 2019/20 WEC season calendar includes eight races of varying lengths, concluding at Le Mans in June 2020. The season also includes two four-hour races (Silverstone and Shanghai), three six-hour races (Fuji, Sao Paulo and Spa-Francorchamps) and two eight-hour races (Bahrain and Sebring).