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Goodyear well prepared for Silverstone comeback

Goodyear has revealed its tyre specifications for the 2019/2020 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) opening round at Silverstone. The race, on September 1, marks Goodyear’s global racing comeback and the tyre company has developed four all-new tyre specifications to begin the eight round WEC season.

Three top WEC teams (Jota Sport, Jackie Chan DC Racing and High Class Racing) have chosen to race on Goodyear tyres in the highly competitive LMP2 class for high-downforce prototype cars. At Silverstone this will be the only WEC class to feature open tyre competition, providing the perfect showcase to benchmark Goodyear’s latest technology.

The WEC regulations allow tyre manufacturers to supply a range of up to three dry-weather tyre specifications to racing teams for the season and Goodyear has chosen their first two specifications after an extensive 12,000km of testing at seven circuits.

At Silverstone, Goodyear will offer their A (softest compound) and C (medium compound) specification tyres to the three teams. These both feature brand-new constructions designed to offer driveability and consistency across the varied season of WEC circuits.

“With races lasting between four and 24 hours, our focus was to develop a range that had the versatility and performance to cope with varying temperatures, stint length between pit-stops and cater for the needs of a wide range of driving styles.” explained Mike McGregor, Manager Race Sales, Testing & Track Support.

With the first three races at Silverstone, Shanghai and Fuji being in temperate climates, Goodyear will initially focus on working closely with the teams to optimise the A and C around their cars. They then will consider introducing their third specification at the Bahrain (December 14) or Sao Paulo (February 1, 2020) events.

Mike added: “Testing has shown that recent resurfacing has created a very high grip circuit that puts heavy loads through the tyres. We’ve also noticed the surface takes longer to ‘rubber in’ after rainfall which is one of the reasons we’ve chosen softer compounds to give drivers the confidence to push hard on new tyres after a pit-stop.”

Due to the resurfacing, the FIA has relaxed the regulations to allow teams to use an additional set of tyres during the event. This change is expected to turn the four-hour race into a series of flat-out sprints between pit-stops, which is another reason that Goodyear has chosen an aggressive tyre selection strategy.