In the FIA World Endurance Championship’s final round in Bahrain, Goodyear crowned Filipe Albuquerque its 2023 Wingfoot Award. The United Autosports driver narrowly beat Robert Kubica to the overall season award, which recognises the consistent performance of Goodyear drivers in the series. Meanwhile, Albert Costa took the top Wingfoot Award prize for the 8 Hours of Bahrain, with a stint average lap time of 1:56.96, 0.172 quicker than Albuquerque. The Wingfoot Award is designed to celebrate the art of maximising performance and executing a consistent pace.
The FIA World Endurance Championship 2023 finale is underway in Bahrain. The drivers’ and constructors’ championships will be decided, alongside the Goodyear Wingfoot Award, in which Filipe Albuquerque and Robert Kubica are level at the top of the table. Albert Costa is 16 points adrift in third, the only other driver with a mathematical chance of clinching the Wingfoot Award title. The Goodyear Wingfoot Award is designed to reward drivers that maximising performance across multiple stint. The award is given to the LMP2 driver who achieves the fastest stint average, measuring their average lap time over two consecutive stints. The Wingfoot has been synonymous with Goodyear since the manufacturer was founded 125 years ago. It is derived from classical mythology – Mercury to the ancient Romans or Hermes to the Greeks. Goodyear considers the swift messenger an apt comparison for its tyre products and performance ethos.
Walkenhorst Motorsport’s Advan-liveried #34 BMW M4 GT3 running on Yokohama’s Advan A005 (dry) and A006 (wet) tyres claimed first place in Round 8 of the 2023 Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) on 23 September. Driven by Christian Krognes and Jakub Giermaziak, the team qualified fifth and took the lead around the race’s midpoint, widening the gap with the rest of the field before taking the checkered flag more than two minutes ahead of the second-place car.
Hankook’s newest Ventus Race tyre, the C54 H, a slightly lighter model than its predecessor, made its debut at the Hankook 24H Barcelona. The European finale of the 24H Series powered by Hankook proved a fitting challenge for the new tyre, subjecting it to high levels of stress on the coarse asphalt and unique kerbs of the Formula 1 hosting circuit in Catalonia. Hankook says the new Ventus Race passed these tests with flying colours, helping the overall winner to set a new record distance of 725 laps.
Dunlop is supplying its KR109 and KR108 endurance racing motorcycle tyres this weekend at the second round of the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC). With the 2022 winner of the 24H Spa EWC Motos a Dunlop partner – the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team – the brand is seeking a repeat of last year’s successful outing. David Auerbacher, Dunlop EWC event leader, said: “BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team showed pace and determination at Le Mans, and a back-to-back Spa win is the target this weekend. We’re also impressed with the new KM99 team, which challenged for the top four at Le Mans and is sure to be a podium contender, too. In Superstock, the quality of the field increases year on year. Tecmas might be the favourite after its Le Mans success, but a whole host of teams, representing several manufacturers, will be challenging at Spa.”
Michelin and the ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) are celebrating the centenary of the Le Mans 24 Hours in June 2023. The tyre manufacturer is marking the occasion by reviewing its innovations made in conjunction with this partnership, while also looking towards the future of top-level motorsport in the context of increasingly prevalent and important sustainability considerations. The tyre manufacturer has committed to the use of fully sustainable materials across its entire range of tyres by 2050. Looking both to its history of innovation and current developments, such as the 63 percent sustainable material tyre it has developed for Green GT’s H24 hydrogen-powered racing prototype, Michelin makes the case for motorsport as “a unique accelerator of sustainable innovation,” and a suitable proving ground for technologies that lead tyre innovation in this area.
Giti Tire Motorsport by WS Racing’s ‘Girls Only’ team displayed camaraderie, determination and spirit to finish the 51st ADAC TotalEnergies 24-hour Nürburgring endurance race with technical issues, no-fault crashes and technical problems all overcome. Heading into the weekend on a high, regular drivers Célia Martin, Fabienne Wohlwend, Pippa Mann and Beitzke Visser in the all-new G82 series BMW M4 GT4, supported by all-women pit and management crews, began at the very rear of the starting group due to a controversial technical offence.
The Hankook logo remains at the top of the SuperTaikyu official website, but the South Korean tyre manufacturer has backed away from supplying the Japanese endurance racing series after its production was hit by a serious fire at its Daejeon factory roughly six weeks ago.
In a three-year deal beginning in 2024, Goodyear will become exclusive tyre supplier to the LMGT3 category in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Series. It is currently developing new tyres for the category and will test these in Europe and America together with several GT3 manufacturers later this year. Goodyear comments that “tyre longevity will be a key focus.”
The 47th edition of Rétromobile, a leading international consumer event for vintage cars, bringing together more than 600 exhibitors, will kick off the festivities celebrating the centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This unprecedented display dedicated to French craftsman and manufacturers who have shone at Le Mans will be held in Pavilion 1 of Paris Expo Porte de Versailles from 1 to 5 February 2023.
Falken Motorsports’ Nürburgring-based GT programme and drifting action resulted in another memorable season for the brand in 2022. The endurance racing team claimed two memorable victories, while Cork-based Falken drifter James Deane augmented pan-European competition with a return to the mainstream automotive media, with a Top Gear Magazine video feature.
GT Radial car number 97 made history in the 2022 Fun Cup Endurance Championship, becoming the competition’s first ever vehicle driven by an all-female line-up. Experienced racers Wendy Ellis-Smith, Michelle Hayward and Zoe Burke came together for the first time at Snetterton in July. They finished ninth in a field of 19 having started in pole position. In addition to its all-female weekend, Giti used its entry in the Fun Cup to bring together racing legends, celebrities and influencers to pilot the car, led by Giti Tire’s senior test engineer Ellis Hadley. Looking back on the 2022 competition, the GT Radial team said it had enjoyed several memorable achievements.
FCC TSR Honda France has won the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme Endurance World Championship (EWC) title on Bridgestone’s Battlax tyres. This is the third time a team supplied by Bridgestone has won the world’s foremost series of endurance motorcycle races since 2018. The second placed Yoshimura Sert Motul ranked second in the EWC series, also on Bridgestone tyres. Bridgestone has supplied grippy, durable Battlax tyres to the EWC since 2017. It says this motorsport deal, alongside its other global motorsport partnerships, embodies its commitment to inspire mobility excitement under Bridgestone’s E8 strategy.
The Giti Tire Motorsport by WS Racing team returns to the Nürburgring 24-Hour on 26-29 May seeking to defend its class victory in the powerful SP8 category in 2021. The trailblazing #gitiracing all-female team will compete in a new BMW M4 GT4, one of four taking to the grid for Giti Tire Motorsport by WS Racing. The team is celebrating its sixth straight year at legendary Nordschleife and the fourth with the pioneering ‘Girls Only – Ready to Rock the Green Hell’ crew. All cars will run on the GitiCompete GTR1 tyre, part of Giti’s comprehensive global motorsport portfolio. This year marks a milestone for the event too; it is the 50th ADAC TOTAL 24h Race.
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.