Starting next year, Goodyear will be the exclusive tire supplier to the LMGT3 category in the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) for a three-year period. Following a tender by the FIA and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) in December 2022, members of the FIA World Motor Sport Council chose Goodyear via an electronic vote.
The new class will replace WEC’s current LMGTE Am and ELMS’s LMGTE categories beginning next year. As the class contains vehicles with front, mid and rear-engined setups, it will provide Goodyear with a challenging development process.
Brand new tires will be produced, with Goodyear drawing on its experience within the international GT3 and GTE categories. At present, the tire manufacturer is currently the exclusive supplier to the LMP2 category in WEC and for the LMP2 and LMGTE in ELMS.
Goodyear Intelligent tires from Goodyear accurately estimate tire-road friction potentialis already developing the new tires, with tests scheduled in Europe and North America during 2023. An array of circuits and GT3 manufacturers will be used to evaluate the tire before it is used within competition racing. During development, Goodyear aims to provide tire longevity, and is targeting double stints at all Grand Prix circuits and triple stints at Le Mans as a minimum.
“We’re excited to begin a new era with LMGT3 in WEC,” said Ben Crawley, director of motorsport EMEA, Goodyear. “The news is a testament to Goodyear’s commitment to its long-term racing program, and everyone in the team looks forward to an exciting 2024 season and beyond.
“The new category poses a fascinating technical challenge. There are a wide variety of cars in the category, and the new tire needs to meet the demands of them all. During the testing process we will work directly with some of the leading GT3 manufacturers, which will produce different challenges due to their varying engine configuration and setup philosophies. We are developing the new tire by combining new technologies with our experience and expertise gained in other championships worldwide.”