Goodyear aiming to build on WEC podium and pole performance
FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) heads to China
First time Goodyear tyres have been used in a Chinese FIA World Championship race
Local hero Ho-Pin Tung looking to build on third place in championship
The Goodyear Racing team head to the third round of the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship with optimism after a very strong race at Fuji last month. At the Japanese circuit, all three Goodyear-equipped teams featured at the front of their class, with a pole position for the Jota Sport team and race-leading performance for the Jackie Chan DC Racing and High Class Racing teams.
All three teams race in the LMP2 category, for 600hp 4.2 litre V8 ‘Le Mans Prototypes’. Significantly, this is the only class to feature a battle between tyre manufacturers.
For Goodyear, the Shanghai race will be a landmark in their racing history. Because the circuit was only opened in 2004, after Goodyear’s last stint in Formula 1, the race will be the first FIA World Championship race in China to feature Goodyear tyres.
The circuit is a very demanding one for tyre manufacturers as Mike McGregor, Goodyear Manager, Race Sales, Testing & Track Support, explains: ”Shanghai is characterised by two long radius corners and an abrasive surface. It also has heavy braking after one of the longest straights on the WEC calendar. This means that braking stability is crucial to a quick lap time. We will use the same two dry weather tyre specifications as we did at Fuji and believe that both will be competitive on our Shanghai debut.”
Ho-Pin Tung’s Goodyear Tianmen Challenge
Ho-Pin Tung was the first Chinese driver to win a class at the Le Mans 24 hour race and is looking forward to spearheading Goodyear’s Chinese comeback. He has experience of conquering a very different driving challenge in China when he became the first driver to reach the top of Tianmen Mountain in a road-going SUV. In 2018 Tung took a Goodyear-shod Range Rover Sport to the peak of 99 hairpin turns and 999-steps at one of China’s most revered national landmarks. The video is available in our media section. This was his first experience of working with Goodyear engineers and he is ready for a very different, but equally demanding, battle this weekend.
Tung explained: “Driving the 999 steps was a novel way to begin working with Goodyear. We worked closely with their engineers and that gave the traction & confidence needed to succeed. In an LMP2 car at Shanghai, we need the same focus and confidence in the tyre. The weather can be changeable and the combination of long demanding corners and heavy braking provides the car and driver with a great workout! My best memory of Shanghai was winning with Jackie Chan DC Racing last year, and we aim to repeat it again and put Goodyear in P1 for the first time in WEC after taking a strong podium finish in Japan.”
The FIA World Endurance Championship 4 Hours of Shanghai starts at 12h (local time) on Sunday November 10th after practice and qualifying on the preceding two days.
Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. It employs about 64,000 people and manufactures its products in 47 facilities in 21 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.
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