Goodyear to return to top-level racing in WEC

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American tyre manufacturer Goodyear has confirmed it will return to international racing, developing a new range of tyres for the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) which includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the final round of the season.

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 prototypes.

Goodyear’s Motorsport Director, Ben Crawley, explains: “The nature of the races (varying from 4 hours to 24 hours) mean 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.”

WEC CEO Gérard Neveu added: “Goodyear is a name which is synonymous with the heritage, passion and development of technology traditionally associated with endurance racing. We are delighted that Goodyear has chosen the WEC for its return to top level, international racing, and we look forward to seeing the increased competition between the tyre manufacturers as well as between our entrants.”

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 (Luxembourg). The tyres will debut at the opening round of the 2019-2020 WEC season for the 4 Hours of Silverstone (30 August – 1 September).

Goodyear has a proud history in motorsport, the go-to tyre of for decades, starting in the mid-sixties – drivers using Goodyear rubber powered to 368 grand prix victories. The company was active in F1 from 1964 and departed the top flight in 1998 but still remains the most successful tyre manufacturer in F1 history.

In addition to the 14 wins in the Le Mans 24 hours, their resume also includes considerable sportscar racing experience after decades of success in American IMSA racing.

F1 tyre manufacturer victory stats:

  • Goodyear 368 wins out of 493 grand prix races;
  • Pirelli 205 wins out of 364 races;
  • Bridgestone 175 wins out of 244 races;
  • Dunlop 83 wins out of 174 races.
  • Firestone 49 wins out of 121 races

Big Question: Would it not be nice to welcome Goodyear back to F1?

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