FIA WEC: Goodyear cars set fastest laps in 6H Spa
- WEC season resumes with 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
- Goodyear LMP2 cars set the fastest lap times
- Goodyear’s full wet LMP2 tyre makes its long-awaited debut
Goodyear-shod cars set the fastest LMP2 class lap times in Saturday’s Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps as the FIA World Endurance Championship returned to action following a six-month break, while Goodyear’s full wet LMP2 tyre compound made its racing debut amid unpredictable weather conditions.
Goodyear takes away a number of positives from a challenging race weekend at the historic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium’s Ardennes, highlighted by impressive late-race pace from both of its partner teams.
Driving the Goodyear-equipped Jota Sport Oreca 07 Gibson, Antonio Felix da Costa set a fastest lap time of 2:05.601 in the final hour of the six-hour contest, while Ho-Pin Tung followed up with a 2:05.855 in the other Goodyear car, entered by Jackie Chan DC Racing. The two Goodyear cars were therefore the only cars in their class to set a lap with an average speed of over 200 km/h.
Da Costa also used his rapid final stint to move up a position from fifth to fourth in the LMP2 class. He shared the Goodyear-liveried car with Roberto Gonzalez and Anthony Davidson. Tung crossed the line seventh in his car, after sharing with Will Stevens and late addition Ryan Cullen.
Tung and da Costa’s pace-setting final stints showed the dry performance of Goodyear’s Eagle F1 SuperSport compounds, including the new B spec which was used in WEC competition for the first time this weekend in preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans next month. Goodyear teams had the choice between the soft A spec and medium B spec at Spa, whereas at every other WEC race so far this season they have used the A and medium-plus C specs.
Full wet LMP2 tyre makes race debut
The rain-soaked first half of the race was the perfect opportunity to prove the potential of Goodyear’s full wet LMP2 compound which had never been raced since Goodyear began supplying LMP2 tyres at the start of the WEC season in September.
Stevens and Gonzalez each completed their first stints on the full wet tyres, running consistently near the front of the field. As the track dried, teams elected to change to slick tyres to maximise dry grip. Rain showers picked up again later in the race, necessitating wet tyres once more.
Mike McGregor, Goodyear Manager, Race Sales, Testing and Track Support, says: “The fastest laps from both Goodyear cars late in the race was a good result in a difficult race, so we can be proud of our pace as the track dried. This bodes very well for Le Mans, which is almost a month away. Racing our wet LMP2 tyres for the first time here is also useful ahead of Le Mans, as it gives us data to work on going into the most important race of the season.”
Goodyear was set to be represented by a third team, Algarve Pro Racing. The Portuguese squad had filed a wildcard entry from Spa but had to withdraw due to COVID-19 precautions. The team will be back in action at the 24 Hours of Le Mans next month, and also in the European Le Mans Series, where it runs two Goodyear-equipped LMP2 cars, both with striking black and white Goodyear colour schemes.
WEC is next back in action for the demanding 24 Hours of Le Mans on 19-20 September. It will be Goodyear’s first Le Mans since its return to top-level endurance racing, which was announced at the historic French race last year. Preparations are in full swing and the data gathered by running the new B spec dry compound at Spa and in recent ELMS races will be vital to challenge for an historic win.
Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. It employs about 74,000 people and manufactures its products in 57 facilities in 23 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.