Following a year off in 2017, Pirelli will return to the World Rally Championship from next year. The tyre maker has already homologated new products for the latest generation of WRC car as well as the feeder WRC2 category. In addition, from next year Pirelli also commences exclusive tyre supply for the Junior World Rally Championship, a series dedicated to drivers born later than 1 January 1989 and contested using identical R2-class Ford Fiestas. The winner will become the owner of a brand-new Fiesta R5 together with a tyre, fuel and free rally entries package towards the 2019 WRC2 season.
Dunlop has congratulated G-Drive Racing after the latter was named European Le Mans Series (ELMS) champion for this year after the final round of the series this past weekend. The tyre maker comments that G-Drive Racing and the other Dunlop-shod teams delivered strong performance in the open-tyre LMP2 class, with all six rounds of the series won by a car racing on Dunlop tyres. Praise was also showered upon JMW Motorsport, the team crowned champion of the all-Dunlop GTE class.
Last year, Michelin made its MotoGP ‘comeback’ after an absence of eight years. Based on the experiences of the 2016 and 2017 seasons, series organiser Dorna Sports has now confirmed the tyre maker’s status as official supplier of tyres to the MotoGP World Championship for five additional seasons over and above the existing arrangement. The contract’s extension until 2023 was announced on Saturday at the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in the presence of Pascal Couasnon, Michelin motorsport director, and Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive officer of Dorna Sports.
Goodyear Dunlop brand Fulda will continue to be available to commercial fleets exclusively at Central Tyre in the UK, after extending its exclusive supply agreement to a second year. Central said this is an important part of the wider strategic partnership between Goodyear Dunlop and the ETEL group, which spans several UK market sectors.
Pirelli will return to the FFSA French GT Championship next year as part of the new-look GT4 European Series promoted by SRO Motorsports Group. As exclusive tyre supplier to the championship, Pirelli will supply two commercially available, 18-inch P Zero fitments: The DH slick tyre for dry conditions and the WH patterned tyre for rain.
Michelin will return as official tyre supplier to the Renault UK Clio Cup next year following four seasons of Dunlop tyre supply. The switch back to Michelin tyres brings the UK championship in line with international Clio Cup competition – as of 2017, the French tyre maker will supply all Clio Cup championships around the world, including those held in Benelux, Bohemia, Central Europe, China, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
The existing partnership between Hankook Tire and German touring car championship DTM has been extended for a further three years. The tyre maker signed a new contract with DTM promoter ITR e.V. last Friday following the press conference held for the opening of the current season; under the terms of this contract, Hankook will continue to deliver its Ventus Race DTM tyres to Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz until the end of the 2019 season.
Aston Martin Racing’s entries in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) have switched from Michelin to Dunlop tyres for the 2016 season. The team evaluated Dunlop’s motorsport tyres over the winter and, under a new technical partnership, the Dunlop rubber will now be supplied to the Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE cars.
Pirelli states that it is “delighted” to host a meeting of the key Formula One stakeholders. The tyre maker will hold the meeting at its headquarters in Milan next week in order to discuss target tyre performance guidelines in the light of the 2017 regulations.
Michelin says it will continue as sole tyre supplier to the FIA Formula E Championship for an additional three seasons. The World Motor Sport Council confirmed Michelin supply for season 3 (2016-2017), 4 (2017-2018) and 5 (2018-2019), subject to the finalisation of the corresponding agreements. The tyre maker has served as a technical partner to Formula E since the championship’s creation.
Pirell will equip the British GT Championship in a multi-year deal from 2016 onwards. The announcement follows Pirelli’s agreement to extend its supply contract to the Blancpain GT Series, the premier GT championship for race versions of road-going supercars, which is contested by upwards of 10 manufacturers over a variety of legendary circuits within Europe.
General Tire turns 100 years old in 2015, and the Continental-owned brand will mark its centenary with its UK distributor Micheldever with an event at Jaguar Land Rover’s Gaydon facility later in the year. The partnership between General and its distributor is itself celebrating a landmark year.
The most northerly haulage company on the UK mainland is continuing to fit Michelin tyres as original equipment and replacements across its 30-strong heavy truck fleet, nearly 100 years after its Michelin policy began. Scrabster-based D Steven & Son, which also has depots in Wick, Aberdeen and Glasgow, specifies Michelin’s latest generation 315/80 R 22.5 X MultiWay 3D tyres on its prime movers – all of which are under three years old – claiming the fitments ensure mobility in extreme wet weather and snowy conditions.
Goodyear will not make a Formula One comeback in 2017, while Dunlop has reaffirmed its commitment to endurance and touring car racing. The manufacturer’s statements come on the 17 June tender deadline, following Michelin Motorsport director Pascal Couasnon’s confirmation that the French manufacturer had submitted an official application.