After years of being out of the motorsports scene, Goodyear has announced its intentions to partake as sponsors for European and International sportscar racing series, namely the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Le Mans 24-hour. Goodyear will supply racing tyres for the WEC and Le Mans’ teams in the 2019/20 season. In domestic motorsports, Goodyear Malaysia was the pioneer in grassroots motorsports and the Formula Drift Championship during its golden age 2009 – 2012.
Goodyear is no stranger in the world of motosports, they’re active in F1 with 368 GP wins and as many as 14 wins in Le Mans. To this day, Goodyear’s record of 368 GP wins still stand. Goodyear was also active in the American IMSA series.
To keep its motorsports legacy intact, Goodyear has picked the WEC to return to motorports as it provides a strong platform for demonstrating tyre technologies on a wide range of different prototype and GT cars.
Goodyear’s Motorsport Director Ben Crawley commented, “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. 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. 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.”
Goodyear has been developing a new range of tyres for Le Mans Prototypes for over a year at their innovation centres in Hanau (Germany) and Colmar-Berg (Luxembourg). The tyres will be developed and manufactured alongside Goodyear’s latest range of Eagle F1 SuperSport tyres for performance and track-day cars, ensuring that the technology and knowledge transfer between the road and race ranges is optimized to benefit the performance of both. The tyres will debut at the start of the 2019/2020 WEC season at Silverstone in August.
This comeback marks the return of Goodyear to global sportscar racing at one of racing’s most iconic venues. With over 250,000 attendees, Le Mans is one of the largest single attendance sporting events in the world.
WEC has been around for 7 seasons and features long-distance races on four continents with the Le Mans season finale, a race which Goodyear-equipped cars have won on 14 occasions.