Goodyear says that the track characteristics at Monza are beneficial for the tyre manufacturer as it ramps up its preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The American manufacturer is the exclusive supplier of tyres for the LMP2 class in the FIA World Endurance Championship, which is racing at Monza this weekend in the third round of its 2021 campaign.
After two races with various track conditions at Spa and Portimao, Mike McGregor, Goodyear’s Endurance Programme Manager states that the nature of the Monza circuit, with its long straights, gives Goodyear the chance to draw comparisons to Le Mans’ Circuit de la Sarthe.
According to McGregor, it therefore allows a greater understanding of what will be needed from the tyres at next month’s French endurance classic.
“So far this season, we’ve seen two extremes of track conditions,” he explains. “At Spa, we had a cold and aggressive track, and at Portimao, it was much smoother and hotter with the new surface there.
“The tyres have been through two extremes, and we can see that the operating window, especially of the single slick spec, is wide.
“Monza has big, long straights leading into tight corners that are good preparation for Le Mans. By the end of a long straight, tyre temperatures have dropped, and then they have high load going through them with braking into the chicane, the long right-handed Parabolica, or corners like Lesmo 1 and 2.
“Drawing the similarities between these parts of the Monza track, and the Mulsanne Straight and its chicanes at Le Mans, really helps our understanding ahead of next month.”
The data available for Goodyear is boosted even further thanks to the round of the European Le Mans Series that was held at Monza last weekend.
In the ELMS, the GTE field also runs Goodyear tyres, as opposed to WEC, where all but the LMP2 class have their tyres supplied by Michelin.
McGregor says that even though Monza is a new venue to the World Endurance Championship, having never raced here before, the data provided by the ELMS round, as well as previous tests, it is well prepared for Sunday’s race.
“We’ve done a lot of testing at Monza, so despite it being a new track on the WEC calendar, we know it well, and so do many of the teams. However, the added experience of last weekend’s ELMS race has given us even more data heading into this weekend. Every lap of the track adds to our knowledge.
“We’re expecting changeable weather conditions so it will be interesting to see how each team might choose to use the intermediate and wet tyres. Last season, teams used our intermediate tyre in a huge range of conditions, but we know our new wet tyre for 2021 also has a wide range of application.
“On a drying track, some teams might stay on wets until they can fit slicks, but others might use intermediates in wet and almost dry conditions.
“This performance overlap will also help us understand the changeable conditions that we always see at Le Mans.”