Goodyear awarded WEC LMP2 tire contract

Image courtesy of FIA WEC

Goodyear awarded WEC LMP2 tire contract

Le Mans/WEC

Goodyear awarded WEC LMP2 tire contract

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Goodyear has been selected to be the single tire supplier for the FIA WEC’s LMP2 class from the 2020/21 season onwards.

This decision comes after it was announced that the class would become a single-tire formula from the 2020/21 season as part of the move to slow the LMP2 class cars down to ensure the Le Mans Hypercars have a performance advantage. LMP2 cars will also receive a rev limit reduction. Le Mans Hypercars are set to be significantly slower than the current crop of LMP1 cars.

The American tire brand being awarded the LMP2 contract also follows the decision from the FIA WEC to award its rival supplier Michelin the Le Mans Hypercar category contract from 2020/21 onwards, meaning both prototype classes will become single-make from next season.

This also affects the European Le Mans Series’ LMP2 class, which become a single-tire formula too, and will be supplied by Goodyear from the start of the 2021 season. It is logical for both championships to move to a single-tire in LMP2 as teams from the WEC and ELMS compete together once a year at Le Mans.

“Goodyear’s heritage at Le Mans includes some of the most iconic victories from the 1960s to the 1990s,” said Pierre Fillon, the ACO’s president. “We are delighted that such a well-known, worldwide brand, built on a winning pedigree, has chosen the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the WEC and ELMS to prove their technology in the most demanding of racing environments. Their commitment to the future of endurance racing is inspiring and echoes the ethos of the ACO and all our endurance racing championships.”

The timing of the announcement was made somewhat ironic by the decision of High Class Racing that Saturday’s 8 Hours of Bahrain will be its last race  on Goodyear tires.

High Class Racing was among the Goodyear P2 pioneers…but has opted to switch back, for now. Image by JEP/LAT

The Danish LMP2 team, which has been a Dunlop team in the ELMS since it stepped up to LMP2 competition in 2017, and a Goodyear customer since its WEC debut this season, will race on Michelins for the next round at COTA on Feb. 23. Team manager Nikolaj Johansen revealed the switch to RACER on Thursday. High Class will run on Michelins Sunday in Bahrain in the WEC Rookie Test.

This brings the number of Goodyear teams down to two among the eight full-season cars in the WEC’s LMP2 class. JOTA and Jackie Chan DC Racing are the sole remaining Goodyear teams (both cars are run by JOTA).

By regulation, each team is permitted to make just one switch of tire supplier during a season, meaning High Class will be unable to change back.

Despite both prototype classes now switching to single-make, as it stands, both GTE classes are likely to stay open in the WEC, allowing for competition moving forward. Currently Michelin supplies all the GTE Pro and GTE Am teams, although another brand is understood to be working on supplying tires to GTE teams in the near future.

 

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