The FIA World Touring Car Cup races due to be held this morning on the Nürburgring Nordschleife have been cancelled due to tyre dramas.
Following a series of repeated tyre failures and delaminations in Thursday’s free practice sessions and Friday’s qualifying session, involving two separate batches of Goodyear tyres, the two races, Rounds 3 and 4 of the championship, have been cancelled.
On Thursday, delaminations affected the Lynk & Co and Honda cars, prompting Goodyear to take the extraordinary step of bringing in a separate batch of rubber for Friday, in case of a manufacturing issue with the initial batch.
However, further tyre issues occurred in qualifying, including for Yvan Muller and Attila Tassi on their first laps of the 25.4 km circuit, and Néstor Girolami and Tiago Monteiro later in the session.
Cyan Racing then opted not to send out Santiago Urrutia, Yann Ehrlacher and Thed Björk for additional laps, even though it put them at risk of losing the top times they then held, which indeed occurred.
Zengő Motorsport’s Rob Huff later crashed out in qualifying due to a tyre delamination, the Brit having also reported extensive vibrations caused by the tyres.
Several drivers, including Muller and Honda’s Monteiro, hinted at not racing on Saturday due to safety concerns about the tyres.
Goodyear also issued a statement on Friday which made reference to the fact that, at that stage, only Lynk & Co and Honda manufacturers had experienced issues.
Honda Racing issued a statement on Saturday morning to emphasise that it’s teams had been running their tyres in accordance with the recommendations made by Goodyear:
“The two Honda customer teams, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport and LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler, have reported tyre damage during qualifying for the WTCR Race of Germany at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, jeopardising their performance.
“Honda has a vested interest in the WTCR, at the heart of which is a desire to preserve the integrity of the Championship, and as such regrets that this situation has emerged.
“On this matter, Honda has absolute trust in its customer racing teams that they have abided by any and all technical recommendations given to them by Goodyear for the 2022 WTCR season, specifically for the WTCR Race of Germany at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.”
Comtoyou Racing’s Mehdi Bennani had been due to start the opening race from pole position, following an Audi 1-2 with team-mate Gilles Magnus, which could have heralded the first win for the brand on the circuit.