Pirelli has begun its 2021 World Rally Championship campaign with two days of private tyre testing in Sardinia. The first day is devoted to gravel and the second day on asphalt. At the wheel of Pirelli’s uniquely-liveried Citroen C3 WRC test car will be Norway’s Andreas Mikkelsen, co-driven by his compatriot Anders Jaeger. The former Volkswagen, Citroen and Hyundai factory driver will be spearheading the development of the latest-generation Pirelli Scorpion tyres for gravel and P Zero tyres for asphalt, which will be supplied exclusively to the World Rally Championship from 2021 to 2024. The new tyres will eventually join the studded Sottozero Ice already displayed at the 2020 GP Ice Race in January in the manufacturer’s WRC tyre line-up.
Goodyear will make its debut as a tyre supplier to the European Le Mans Series this weekend. The manufacturer is working alongside top teams in the LMP2 and LMGTE classes at the season-opening 4 Hours of Le Castellet. Goodyear’s latest tyre technology will be fitted to five front-running LMP2 prototypes and every car in the LMGTE field throughout the ELMS season. The brand’s entrance into the series follows last year’s fitments to LMP2 winners in the FIA World Endurance Championship. However the weekend will mark the first time that LMGTE cars have raced on the Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport race tyres. Having been delayed by the pandemic, the series will run over five races until November.
The Chinese Grand Prix and Sanya E-Prix have already been postponed, now the FIA is preparing race fans for the possibility of further events being called off should the coronavirus continue to spread. In a statement published yesterday, the FIA said it is “closely monitoring the evolving situation” with relevant authorities and its member clubs, under the direction of FIA Medical Commission president, Professor Gérard Saillant.
The era of Michelin tyres dominating the World Rally Championship (WRC) is drawing to a close. The FIA has chosen Pirelli as sole tyre supplier for the WRC from 2021 to 2024. With its selection, Pirelli sees itself at “the top of motorsport” thanks to its exclusive tyre supply to both the leading rally and single seater racing championships. “These successful campaigns confirm Pirelli’s leadership in world motorsport,” comments the tyre maker.
As of next season, Goodyear will take over from Yokohama as official tyre supplier to the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup. Following an official FIA tender, Goodyear will partner with the series for the three years covering the 2020-2022 seasons.
Goodyear is to serve as official tyre supplier to the LMP2 category of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and European Le Mans Series (ELMS). This arrangement follows the decision made by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to appoint a single tyre supplier for the Le Mans Prototype class.
Following the Formula 1 teams’ unanimous rejection of Pirelli’s proposed 2020 tyre specifications, the tyre maker has confirmed its intention to supply 2019 specification tyres to the 2020 F1 World Championship. Pirelli says it, the FIA and the F1 teams took “several different factors” into account in reaching this decision.
During last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, Jead Todt disclosed that a second tyre maker has expressed interest in becoming exclusive Formula 1 tyre supplier for the 2020 to 2023 seasons. He didn’t reveal the company’s name – he claimed not to have the information at hand – however we confirmed it wasn’t Michelin.
The FIA is currently seeking tenders for tyre supply to the Formula One World Championship between 2020 and 2023. As expected, talk in motorsport circles has returned to the possibility of Michelin throwing its hat into the ring. The French tyre maker is open to the prospect of acting as sole tyre supplier, as requested by the FIA tender, provided that “a technical challenge was involved.” Yet other FIA conditions continue to place stumbling blocks in the way of a Michelin return.
Volvo Trucks vehicle “The Iron Knight” has broken two world speed records for trucks on Goodyear tyres. The company’s rubber helped the 4.5 tonne, 2,400 horsepower truck achieve an average speed of 169.09 km/h (105 mph) in a time of 21.29 seconds, over 1,000 meters from a standing start. The Iron Knight also beat the record for the 500 metre distance, at 131.29 km/h (81.6 mph) in 13.71 seconds from a standing start. During the record runs The Iron Knight reached a top speed of 276 km/h (171.5 mph).
Michelin will introduce a new iteration of its FIA World Rally Championship full wet tyre, developed for use on asphalt rounds, at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland on 18-21 August. The new Pilot Sport FW2 (FW stands for “full wet”) features a higher water clearance capacity and a contact patch double the size of its predecessor. The German event is the first of four consecutive sealed-surface events, which also include October’s RallyRACC Catalunya-Rally de España.
For the last five years competitors in the World Rally Championship have been free to compete on any brand of tyre registered with the FIA, and newcomer Dmack has shown itself to be a worthy competitor to factory team supplier Michelin – at the start of this month, the brand secured its best ever WRC result and first podium finish. The days of open tyre competition may be numbered, however. Autosport.com writes that the WRC may return to a control tyre for next year’s season.
Launched in September 2014, the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship an on 18-inch, patterned Michelin Pilot Sport EV tyres. Work on developing new tyres for the second Formula E season had already begun when the FIA asked Michelin to continue with the same-spec tyre for the season in order to enable teams use a known tyre when developing their cars to meet new, less restrictive technical regulations. Work on the second-generation tyre nevertheless continued, and Michelin Motorsport says this means “two steps forward will have been taken” in regards to tyre development when its new tyre finally debuts at the start of the third Formula E season.
The FIA and Pirelli have signed a new four-year agreement in support of the FIA’s Action for Road Safety campaign. As a global partner of the campaign, Pirelli will promote the FIA’s ‘10 Golden Rules’ for road safety through all of its networks. Pirelli will also organise training programmes, as well as projects to raise awareness on safe driving, in collaboration with a selection of FIA Member Clubs.