Goodyear is Coming Back to Endurance Racing in a Big Way

Goodyear—a company whose tires have been equipped on 14 Le Mans-winning cars—announced that they are going all in on developing tires for the start of the 2019-2020 FIA World Endurance Championship, a series that includes the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans. They'll be developing the new tires right alongside their current Eagle F1 SuperSport tires, which can only mean good things for all involved. 

Read the press release below, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Goodyear has announced that it will re-enter European and International sportscar racing by developing a new range of tires for the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), including the Le Mans 24-hour race.

The FIA World Endurance Championship features long-distance races on four continents with the Le Mans season finale, a race which Goodyear-equipped cars have won on 14 occasions.

Goodyear has chosen sportscar racing for the first step of its World Championship racing comeback as it provides a strong platform for demonstrating tire technologies on a wide range of different prototype and GT cars, as Motorsport Director, Ben Crawley, explains:“The nature of the races (varying from 4 hours to 24 hours) mean tire choice and strategy are critical and it provides a motivating challenge for our technology team in our European innovation centers ahead of exploring other racing opportunities for the brand.” 

Goodyear has been developing a new range of tires for Le Mans Prototypes for over a year at their innovation centers in Hanau (Germany) and Colmar-Berg (Luxembourg). The tires will be developed and manufactured alongside Goodyear’s latest range of Eagle F1 SuperSport tires 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 tires will debut at the start of the 2019/2020 WEC season at Silverstone in August.

This comeback marks the return of the famous brand 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. “Motorsport continues to be one of the most popular global sports,” Crawley continued. “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.” added Crawley.

Goodyear has a proud history in motorsport. In addition to the 14 wins in the Le Mans 24 hours, Goodyear tires were used to win 368 Formula One Grand Prix - a record that stands unbeaten. Goodyear also have considerable sportscar racing experience after decades of success in American IMSA racing.

 

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USGUYS
USGUYS New Reader
6/19/19 2:46 p.m.

As a club racer, who cares.  They barely support our programs.  

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
6/19/19 2:59 p.m.

Nothing really new,they own Dunlop which had been already in the WEC so they are just rebadging the tires Goodyear.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
6/19/19 3:05 p.m.

As a small time road and stock car racer, I'd have a hard time buying a Goodyear race tire over a Hoosier or an American Racer, but I doubt they will ever come back to the short tracks.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
6/19/19 3:23 p.m.

Translation: "Crap... NASCAR viewership is down... we need to diversify..."

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
6/19/19 3:33 p.m.

Wow, so much negativity for an American company returning to a sport many of us watch and follow.  Sounds like good news to me.  Oh yes, I forgot, if it costs more than $0.001 no one is interested and being the internet everyone must outdo themselves with smart ass derogatory comments.  

Bullfighter513
Bullfighter513
6/19/19 3:39 p.m.

Goodyear will never again be my tire provider, their dealers and factory refused to honor a valid warranty on 2 brand new Marathon (Crapathon) trailer tires.  Use caution if you buy their tires !

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
6/19/19 3:56 p.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson :

They are still a business and the post above yours kind of illustrates the point.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
6/19/19 4:06 p.m.

Personally I'm more interested in them at a grassroots level. Autocross tires, club racing, stage rally, that sort of thing. It's great that they're headed where they're headed, but I'm not a purchaser in those markets. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
6/19/19 4:16 p.m.

In the hose world Goodyear went away and Continental or Conitech is the new name.  The Goodyear name is strong in tires but no more in hose and rubber.  

Just more useless trivia from Datsun310Guy. 

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
6/19/19 6:11 p.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson :

Yes, negativity.  They threw short track racers to the wolves.  American racer stepped up, hired most of the race tire people who Goodyear had canned, and provides better service than Goodyear did.

I have very little interest in Goodyear and their success.

pizzaman1
pizzaman1 Reader
6/19/19 11:00 p.m.

 

I couldn’t care less what happened to Goodyear , it’s an eerie feeling whenever I’m in Akron and I go by the old Goodyear R&D offices and it’s a ghost town and whatever factories are left they’re a shame to what they have become, 

Akron the Tire Capital of the World , they left it in shambles and not justv Goodyear but all of the tire manufacturers, they’re all gone , they all just left a token presence except Firestone which of course is Firestone no longer but a different stone from Japan , nice job Firestone, I will buy Hoosiers for my racing tires all day long , screw the rest . 

te72
te72 Reader
6/20/19 12:15 a.m.

Does Goodyear even still make a tire for our market? I've had a few sets of their Assurance Tripletred tires for the Supras over the years (pretty good tire up to the mid-300whp range if you only have the option of one set of tires), and ran one set of GS-D3's on a Miata back in the day, but other than that... they've been off my radar for years.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
6/20/19 5:04 a.m.

In reply to te72 :

Depends on your definition of "our".  I have most of a set of Eagle F1s for my Volvo, that were new-car takeoffs from a Focus ST.  The guy I bought them from drove them for about 3000mi and then switched to more autocross-specific rubber.

 

As UHP tires go, they're okay.  Not 10/10ths tires, which is fine by me.

 

I need to replace two of them before I mount them, which is where the problem lies: unless I find someone else selling low mile FoST takeoffs, the price difference between two new Goodyears and four new BFGs is low enough to be compelling.  Goodyears are just plain expensive, and they don't have the quality to back that up the way Michelin does.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
6/20/19 5:48 a.m.

In reply to pizzaman1 :

Rubber Capital of the World!

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
6/20/19 6:35 a.m.

I still haven't forgiven Goodyear for killing the F1 GS-D3.  That was an awesome 3-season tire for the MINI. 

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
6/20/19 7:12 a.m.

I don’t really have any personal history good or bad with them, but I’m glad to see another tire in WEC. Just makes things more interesting. 

jharry3
jharry3 Reader
6/20/19 9:26 a.m.

Having grown up in a family whose patriarch started out in the tire business in 1919 I grew up, and lived, hearing and seeing nothing good about Goodyear.  

  On the other hand tire competition is good. 

Look at what the the Indy F1 fiasco did to Michelin, woke them up all right.    I wish tires were still "free" in F1.   Bring on Goodyear, Bridgestone, Michelin, etc. into the mix so the best rises to the top. 

lateapexer
lateapexer Reader
6/20/19 9:39 a.m.

They also own Falken and Kelly. I think that tire manufacturers are so intertwined that it's hard to distinguish one from another.

spacecadet
spacecadet HalfDork
6/20/19 10:18 a.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

Personally I'm more interested in them at a grassroots level. Autocross tires, club racing, stage rally, that sort of thing. It's great that they're headed where they're headed, but I'm not a purchaser in those markets. 

luckily they're interested in the GRM type market. they have a new tire coming this summer in a bunch of sizes. 1Lap 1LE has a set ordered.. 

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
6/20/19 10:58 a.m.
lateapexer said:

They also own Falken and Kelly. I think that tire manufacturers are so intertwined that it's hard to distinguish one from another.

Kelly yes, Dunlop yes, Douglas yes, Falken no.

There was a joint venture with Sumitomo several years ago, and some of their tires are still sold with the Dunlop name. Sumitomo owns Falken.

te72
te72 Reader
6/20/19 10:20 p.m.
Ian F said:

I still haven't forgiven Goodyear for killing the F1 GS-D3.  That was an awesome 3-season tire for the MINI. 

I only owned the set of GS-D3's I had for a short time, but wow... what a tire for the street. Never used that car for competition, but did some VERY spirited runs along a local canyon road a few times, and those tires opened my eyes to the possibility of what a car at 9.5/10ths is like. Not much room for error, but what a ride!

 

I'm all for more competition in the tire market, it will only benefit us, after all, as consumers. I'd love to see some wider sizes in 17's, 255 just isn't enough. Sadly, I suspect I'm of the minority on that one though...

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