Freddie Hunt, professional racing driver and son of Formula One legend James Hunt, is the latest big name to compete in the GT Radial car number 97 in the 2021 Fun Cup Endurance Championship. He follows Isle of Man TT legend John McGuiness and Steve Peat, multiple World and British Downhill Mountain Bike Champion in taking the seat in this year’s series. Racing at Croft with Ellis Hadley, senior test engineer at Giti Tire, the team finished a respectable 10th place having started 17th on the grid for the four-hour endurance race.
Giti Tire has praised the #gitiracing all-female team after securing their first class win at the Nürburgring 24-Hour. Racing in the Giti Tire Motorsport by WS Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4, the team beat a competitive Lexus RCF after driver Carrie Schreiner secured pole with a 9:19.646-minute lap of the Nordschleife. Following a lengthy delay due to fog, Célia Martin set a fastest lap of 9:11.605 as the team completed 52 laps, finishing in 45th place overall. 121 cars started the race, with 99 finishing in extremely challenging conditions.
Yokohama is supplying its Advan racing tyres to seven cars entered by four teams in the 49th Nürburgring 24-Hour Endurance Race (3-6 June). Supported teams include Walkenhorst Motorsport, a BMW customer racing team that entered into a partnership agreement with Yokohama Rubber last year. Four Walkenhorst machines will run on Advan tyres, including three BMW M6 GT3 cars competing in the top-level SP9 class. The cars will use the Advan A005 for dry conditions and the A006 for wet conditions.
Toyo Tire is heading to the Nürburgring for the 49th ADAC Total 24H Race on 3-6 June 2021. The Japanese tyre manufacturer will supply specially developed tyres to Novel Racing, following up its entry in the delayed 2020 edition of the race for which it signed a partnership agreement with Toyo. Toyo developed its new rubber for Novel’s Lexus RC F and Toyota Supra GT4, entries tuned by Nürburgring based Ring Racing, which has been building cars for the circuit for more than a decade.
Falken Motorsports will continue its unbroken run of appearances since 1999 at the ADAC TOTAL 24h Race on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in two identical Porsche 911 GT3 R. On 3-6 June 2021, the tyre brand’s motorsport team will contest the formidable endurance race with a top-class line-up of drivers. Lance David Arnold, Klaus Bachler, Thomas Preining and Dirk Werner will compete in the #33 car. Sven Müller, Alessio Picariello, Martin Ragginger and Klaus Bachler (again) will compete in the #44 car. Bachler is anticipating a busy weekend as he takes stints in both Falken cars.
The current season is Michelin’s ninth consecutive year with the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), and it has developed a new range of tyres for the headlining Le Mans Hypercar class which replaces LMP1 as the premier class in 2021. All five cars competing in Le Mans Hypercar this year race on Michelin Pilot Sport tyres that were developed almost entirely created using virtual tools.
Goodyear’s inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) campaign in 2020 was the prelude to a new era for the brand in the series. Goodyear is an official championship partner supplying every car in the LMP2 prototype category this season, which begins at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, on Saturday 1 May with a six-hour race. In its comeback season to top-level motorsport, its first action at this level in two decades, Goodyear’s tyres were victorious in Shanghai and Bahrain, and achieved a memorable double podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
It has been nearly two years since the Goodyear brand’s reintroduction to motorsport in Europe, and it is fair to say that operating in a pandemic was not part of the plan when this brand strategy was set out. Tyres & Accessories spoke to Ben Crawley, Goodyear motorsport director EMEA, about his experiences of the 2020 season. Goodyear re-entered European motorsport almost two years ago. While the brand on a global level has “never really been out of motorsport,” bearing in mind its six continuous decades of NASCAR in the USA, Crawley tells T&A that the thinking behind Goodyear’s reentry in more global series “fits into a wider brand rejuvenation” strategy. “We know we have this fantastic legacy and history in racing, and we want to be able to use that to reengage and provide some excitement for the brand and how we communicate the brand with consumers.” The motorsport strategy also coincided with Goodyear’s introduction of ultra-ultra-high performance (UUHP) Eagle F1 Supersport tyres, and “the natural synergies that come with high performance tyres for the road and racing.” Beyond the new product range, the “brand rejuvenation strategy includes the Blimp, racing, and broader advertising and marketing partnerships,” Crawley adds. Subscribers can view the video of this interview in the full version of this article.
Pirelli supplied its new range of GT tyres to the 2020 Spa 24 Hours, the manufacturer’s “biggest event of the year.” In total Pirelli took 13,000 tyres to the Belgian circuit in a fleet of 34 trucks, with more than 65 tyre fitters working round the clock, underlining the tyre manufacturer’s long-standing commitment to GT racing. The rescheduled event produced a thrilling competition, with multiple changes of weather and lead. The winner was only decided in the closing minutes.
All four Giti Tire Motorsport cars achieved top three finishes in their classes at the Nürburgring 24-Hour. Terrible overnight weather at the Eifel circuit saw the race suspended for nine hours, and only 70 of the 97-car grid make it to the finish. Giti said that tyre management proved decisive in helping teams overcome challenging conditions. The Giti Tire Motorsport by WS Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4 finished first in the SP8 class, while the Volkswagen Golf VII GTI Clubsport came in third in the VT2 class. In the SP3T class the trailblazing #gitiracing all-female racing team finished third in their Volkswagen Golf VII GTI TCR, overcoming a race crash and garage repairs to finish.
Tyre brand Falken’s twin Porsche 911 GT3 Rs finished in 10th and 11th place at the 48th ADAC Total 24h-Race 2020. The Eifel weather proved challenging for everyone with constantly changing conditions over the race’s 24 hours. Falken said the finish demonstrated the reliability of its performance tyres. Despite conditions causing many cars to come off the track, Falken brought both Porsches home: 10th place for the #44 with Klaus Bachler, Sven Müller, Peter Dumbreck and Martin Ragginger at the wheel and11th place for the #33 with the double starters Klaus Bachler and Sven Müller alongside Christian Engelhart and Dirk Werner.
The Nürburgring 24 Hours is one of the last open tyre competitions in recent years. For Falken, it represents an opportunity to compete on track against top global premium brands, like Michelin, Goodyear and Yokohama. In the last decade Falken road tyre technology it has narrowed the performance gap, evidenced by improved results in third party tyre tests.
Goodyear’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans was marked by two podium finishes and a flyover by the Goodyear Blimp during the race. British squad JOTA finished second in the LMP2 class, while French outfit Panis Racing crossed the line in third. LMP2 is the only category at Le Mans with open tyre competition and Goodyear supplied five of the 24 cars entered. The manufacturer says its two podium finishers are testament to the performance and durability of its tyres.
Hankook’s Ventus Race tyre is in action at three major series this weekend. The tyre follows up DTM, Formula Renault Eurocup, and 24H Series powered by Hankook action with events at the Nürburgring and the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. Saturday’s race at the Nürburgring marks the DTM’s halfway point, with Sunday’s second race getting the second half immediately underway. The series lines up on the Grand Prix circuit for the first time for 19 years, including 17 corners and big changes in elevation. Hankook says the resulting compressions place great strain on the construction of the Ventus Race, as do the solid kerbs, which are taken at great speed.
Goodyear is looking forward to recommencing the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps. The tyre manufacturer’s partner teams, Jota Sport and Jackie Chan DC Racing are currently second and third in the LMP2 standings. The former has finished on the podium in the last four rounds, while Jota took a memorable win at Shanghai in November. They will be joined by an additional Goodyear-shod car from Algarve Pro Racing. The Portuguese team usually competes in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) but will step up to the world stage this weekend.