Lynk & Co Cyan Racing suspends WTCR campaign due to tyre safety concerns

Lynk & Co Cyan Racing has suspended its five-car campaign in the FIA World Touring Car Cup with immediate effect due to ongoing concerns about Goodyear tyre safety.

The Swedish team recently pulled all of its cars from racing in the last round at Vallelunga in Italy, when it suffered from several tyre failures in practice.

The team is known to have concerns about completing race distances on the Goodyear rubber, with the Lynk & Co 03 TCR also being the heaviest car on the grid as a result of a combination of TCR Balance of Performance measures and WTCR Compensation Weight.

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The team released a statement on Thursday morning explaining its decision, after it had failed to find a solution with the stakeholders involved in WTCR.

Lynk & Co Cyan Racing’s statement:

“Lynk & Co Cyan Racing has suspended its World Touring Car Cup competition effective immediately due to the current tyre safety situation.

“Tyre failures has become a recurring occurrence in the 2022 WTCR season. As a result, the WTCR race of Germany in May was cancelled on grounds of safety.

“The most recent race weekend at Vallelunga in Italy saw Cyan Racing having to call for actions from the WTCR stakeholders again prior to qualifying after continued tyre issues, including a crash for Yvan Muller at over 220 km/h. Subsequently, the team had to withdraw from both races, in which only a handful of cars of the remaining 11-car field finished without a tyre failure.

“The Lynk & Co 03 TCR model has, as per the Balance of Performance of the WTCR stakeholders, been the heaviest car of the field since its introduction in 2019 – currently running 80kg heavier than the championship leading Hyundai Elantra N TCR model. This means that the Lynk & Co cars of Cyan Racing has been most frequently and most severely affected by the 2022 tyre failures.

“After the team failed to find a satisfactory solution with the WTCR stakeholders in the week leading up the next race at Anneau Du Rhin race in France (August 6-7), Cyan Racing has in consultation with Geely Group Motorsport decided to suspend further World Touring Car Cup competition.

“‘We have a tyre this year that cannot handle the Balance of Performance and Compensation Weight window for all cars on all tracks. And our car runs heaviest of all. As a result, our drivers are subjected to tyre failures at high speeds and crashes. It is simply not possible for Cyan Racing to continue the season in a safe manner,” said Fredrik Wahlén, team manager of Cyan Racing.

“‘It is the toughest decision we have ever taken as every single member of Cyan Racing is here to win and have sacrificed a lot of things to get where we are today. But we can’t race in a safe way under the current circumstances and safety is our number one priority. We wish to thank the FIA for their support during these tough circumstances.’

“The decision means that the five-car, five-time world champion team will not take part in this weekend’s races at Anneau Du Rhin in France or any of the yet-to-be-confirmed remaining rounds of the 2022 WTCR season.

“‘It has been a prolonged and incredibly frustrating situation for the team, the drivers, commercial partners and fans, a situation which have progressively pushed us out of the championship. We are very thankful for the efforts of the FIA in trying to find a solution. Unfortunately, the combined effort of the WTCR stakeholders could not present a satisfactory solution to enable Cyan Racing to participate in the WTCR in a safe manner,’ said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Geely Group Motorsport.

“Background

“The Lynk & Co 03 TCR is the heaviest car of the WTCR field and has been since its introduction in 2019 due to the Balance of Performance of the WTCR stakeholders, meaning that tyre failures occur earlier and more frequently compared to other models in the WTCR

“The second race of the 2022 season at the Nürburgring in May was cancelled by the WTCR stakeholders due to safety reasons connected to tyre performance

“Cyan Racing has worked with the WTCR stakeholders and the tyre supplier during testing and races to find a solution, including to run car setup parameters provided by the tyre supplier, but with no improvement to the problem

“Cyan Racing withdrew from the WTCR races at Vallelunga in July following severe tyre safety issues during practice, including a high-speed crash for Yvan Muller

“Cyan Racing called for firm actions from the WTCR stakeholders prior to the WTCR races in Italy, none were made

“Several competitors suffered tyre failures during the WTCR races at Vallelunga, including cars from Audi, Cupra and Honda

“The WTCR stakeholders have proposed unsatisfactory changes ahead of the WTCR races at Anneau Du Rhin, meaning that the Lynk & Co 03 TCR cars of Cyan Racing would still run with more weight than at the Nürburgring where the races were cancelled on tyre safety grounds

“The remaining part of the 2022 WTCR calendar is still not confirmed by the WTCR stakeholders, not allowing Cyan Racing any possibilities to perform simulations and calculations connected to tyre safety performance for the remaining races

“No race specification tyres have so far been made available for private testing, making it impossible for teams to complete further validation of tyres.”

The withdrawal of the Swedish team leaves just 12 cars to take part in this weekend’s races at Anneau du Rhin.

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