Goodyear says that the high number of teams running its tyres at this weekend’s 8 Hours of Portimao is beneficial to the tyre manufacturer’s preparations for the 24 Hours of Le mans.
All eleven LMP2 teams competing at the eight-hour enduro at the Portuguese circuit are running Goodyear tyres, as it is the sole tyre supplier for the class.
Mike McGregor, Goodyear’s Endurance Racing Programme manager, states that the large amount of LMP2 teams competing in the class means that it will provide more data to use heading towards Le Mans.
“The big difference with having this many cars on the grid now is that we can learn so much faster how the tyres are working with different driving styles,” said McGregor. “As a Pro-Am category, LMP2 features a huge variety of driving styles and setup philosophies.
“Teams have to tailor the car to work for different drivers with distinct styles. This is what our track support engineers are working on with the teams to support them finding a bespoke setup that works with the tyre package.”
While the Portimao circuit is new on the calendar for the FIA World Endurance Championship, it is not a new venue for Goodyear, as its European Le Mans Series exploits have seen it race here previously.
“Portimao is one of the tracks we tested the new tyre specification on so that gives us useful information heading into the race, in terms of how the tyre will perform and what setups we can recommend to teams,” said McGregor. “We know the circuit from racing there last year, too.
“When a championship arrives at a new circuit, there is always an element of the unknown, but we’re confident in the experience and knowledge that we already have of this track.”
Teams in LMP2 will have access to Goodyear’s C-Spec tyre, which was previously used at the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, as well as the first rounds of the European Le Mans Series.
“We have worked hard to provide teams with a tyre specification that works in a broad operating window, as can be seen in the last few WEC and ELMS races,” McGregor concluded.
“The Red Bull Ring ELMS race was very cold and it’s a low-energy track, which means it puts a low amount of pressure on tyres, whereas the temperatures were considerably more changeable on the high-energy track at Spa.
“At Portimao, we go into a medium-energy circuit where the temperatures are going to be much hotter.”