Goodyear proves long-distance tyre performance

Goodyear proves long-distance tyre performance in first LMGT3-era 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In its largest 24 Hours of Le Mans operation in history, Goodyear delivered relentless performance throughout the 2024 edition of the world’s most iconic endurance race. Mixed conditions throughout the race demonstrated the long-distance performance of both the slick and wet Goodyear tyres, providing a fascinating strategy battle in both the LMP2 and new LMGT3 classes.

When the No. 91 Manthey EMA Porsche 911 GT3 R crossed the finish line to become the first LMGT3 class winner in Le Mans history, drivers Richard Lietz, Yasser Shahin, and Morris Schuring had completed 281 laps; a total distance of more than 3800 km. Just like every team in the new-for-2024 category, which features cars from nine of the world’s most desirable sports car manufacturers, they worked throughout the race with Goodyear to extract the maximum performance and distance out of their Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport LMGT3 race tyres.

To supply 39 cars across two classes, making up almost two-thirds of the entire grid at Le Mans, the scale of Goodyear’s operation was unlike ever before. Goodyear brought 7,500 tyres on site, serviced by expert tyre fitters working in shifts throughout the race to remove, inspect and replace a set of tyres in as little as three minutes. In the pit lane, a crew of 18 track support engineers worked directly with each team throughout the race to advise on setup and strategy.

Watching the LMGT3 cars line up on the Le Mans grid for the first time on Saturday was a proud moment,” says Mike McGregor, Goodyear’s Endurance Program Manager. “As we have been part of the development cycle for this new class since the beginning, working with every manufacturer to develop a tyre range for this highly varied category, its first Le Mans was a special moment.

“Fans love the LMGT3 cars as they represent some of the most exciting sports car brands in the world, and for Goodyear we’re motivated by the opportunity to amplify our race to road messaging, underlining the technology transfer between our racing and consumer road tyre ranges. Congratulations to all the teams for their relentless effort throughout the race and build-up week, and particularly to Manthey EMA for writing the history books as the first 24 Hours of Le Mans LMGT3 winner.”

Unlike other categories of endurance racing, teams in LMGT3 have just one slick and one wet tyre specification available to them at each race event. Both tyres used at Le Mans are the same that the teams have used at Qatar, Imola and Spa so far this WEC season. Developing tyres that can perform at such a range of tracks, support front, mid and rear-engined cars, and deliver what both professional and amateur drivers in this pro-am class want, is no easy feat and the result of an 18-month development process.

During dry periods of the race, many LMGT3 teams completed four stints on a single set of tyres, amounting to around 550 km of running; close to two times a Formula 1 Grand Prix race distance. One team even completed 45 laps or 613 km on the same tyres. This longevity is central to Goodyear’s endurance racing strategy, providing tyres that maintain their performance level over an extended period of time.

In addition to LMGT3, Goodyear is still the exclusive tyre supplier to LMP2 at Le Mans. As the category is no longer a full-time part of the FIA World Endurance Championship, Le Mans offered something of a one-off race for teams from the Goodyear-supplied European Le Mans Series and equivalent North American and Asian series. United Autosports’ Oliver Jarvis and Le Mans debutants Bijoy Garg and Nolan Siegel took the victory, crossing the line just 18 seconds clear of last year’s winner Inter Europol Competition.

The FIA World Endurance Championship season resumes on 14 July with the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo.

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