Goodyear has issued a statement following repeated tyre troubles experienced by several teams in this week’s FIA World Touring Car Cup event at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Drivers from several teams have experienced repeated delaminations during the weekend thus far, which culminated in the Cyan Racing team opting to only complete one flying lap for three of its drivers in qualifying.
In practice, Yvan Muller twice experienced delamination issues, whilst the issue persisted in qualifying with issues for the Team Engstler Hondas, Zengő Motorsport CUPRAs and the Cyan Racing Lynk & Co cars.
After the issues on Thursday, tyre supplier Goodyear brought in a brand new batch of rubber for Friday, which resulted in teams being given a brief 15-minute additional test session prior to qualifying to check out the new batch.
However, issues continued in qualifying, including for Attila Tassi, who had a delamination towards the end of the lap, and Rob Huff, who crashed out due to a delamination at the end of the session.
The Goodyear statement reads:
“During qualifying for the WTCR Race of Germany on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, two manufacturers (Honda and Lynk & Co) reported tyre damage.
“Three manufacturers (Audi, CUPRA and Hyundai) did not report tyre damage.
“In order to gather data, we introduced a different production batch for this session. There was no difference in the performance or durability between the two batches.
“As part of the analysis, we compared this WTCR data with data from the Goodyear teams in practice sessions for the 24h Nürburgring race as part of the same event.
“In the endurance event, we saw one tyre issue from a field of 32 Goodyear-equipped cars (including seven TCR-spec cars). These cars typically run for up to nine laps in a stint, three times the distance of a WTCR race.
“We are constantly working with the WTCR teams to ensure they are following our technical recommendations for the 2022 season.
“We will continue to advise all teams on setup and kerb usage, while also maintaining the data gathering process to support our philosophy of continuous improvement.”
Some drivers, including Tiago Monteiro and Huff, expressed doubts about whether Saturday’s races could go ahead.
“It’s very frustrating and I’m very upset about it, not only because it’s not good for the show but it’s also very dangerous for us as drivers,” said Monteiro., who was 16th after tyre issues
“I don’t know what the options are, but I think we have to be realistic and think about safety first.
“As everyone probably remembers, I’ve been involved in a tyre drama in Formula One and it played my way at the time [with a podium result], but again the reason why everyone backed off at the time was for safety reasons and you can’t play with that.”
Huff says he is not sure what the situation is for Saturday’s races, due to doubt about whether to race or not in light of the tyre issues.
“It was nasty crash and all from a vibration from the rear tyres. I had just started that lap and at the beginning of the lap I had a bit of a vibration and it just seemed to get worse and worse and worse.
“There are obviously concerns over tyres as much as anyone else. I know we’re super safe on setup.
“Dániel [Nagy, team-mate] and I have both experienced big problems with tyres – it was Dani’s problem as well with huge vibrations and he just did four laps of the GP track to try and get rid of the vibration and couldn’t, so he couldn’t do a competitive lap time at all because of vibrations and that’s because of tyre problems.
“Speaking openly, no one seems to be able to understand what the problem with the tyre is, we can only assume it’s a construction problem which isn’t happy with the new surfacing here at the Nordschleife.
“I’m not sure what tomorrow will hold for WTCR but let’s see what happens tonight.”