WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup update
Discovery Sports Events and the FIA are surprised by the decision of Cyan Racing and Geely Group Motorsport to discontinue their participation in the 2022 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup, which was not expected in light of extensive dialogue between the FIA, Cyan Racing, Geely Group Motorsport, Goodyear and TCR category creator WSC to address concerns following the tyre issues that occurred during WTCR Race of Italy.
During positive discussions on Friday between the FIA, Geely and WSC, measures proposed by the FIA and WSC included reducing the compensation weight of all WTCR cars by 20 kilograms, Goodyear’s proposal of the organisation of an additional test at Anneau du Rhin this evening to give all teams the opportunity to run Goodyear’s recommended settings on a track where Cyan Racing tested earlier this year, along with other teams, without reporting any tyre-related issues.
In addition to its support of this additional test and the analysis conducted to ensure that the tyres work well on this circuit, Goodyear offered to replace the carry-over tyres from the previous event.
Today’s announcement, particularly so close to the home race of Yann Ehrlacher and Yvan Muller, two of FIA World Touring Car racing’s most decorative drivers, is not only surprising but is also very unfortunate and we share the collective sense of frustration of the WTCR Race of Alsace GrandEst promoter and the fans.
Fortunately, the WTCR can count on the participation of a number of other top teams and drivers, which means WTCR Race of Alsace GrandEst will go ahead as planned.
The focus will then turn to the remaining races of the season, details of which will be announced once an FIA World Motor Sport Council e-vote, due to begin on August 8, has been completed.
Statement from Goodyear Racing:
Goodyear Racing has been working with the FIA and Discovery Sports Events on analysing the root cause of tyre conditions that were experienced by several teams at FIA WTCR Race of Italy.
Following the race weekend, Goodyear Racing conducted a comprehensive technical analysis, including the inspection of returned tyres, which has not identified any manufacturing issue with the specification. The analysis has identified that tyre temperatures on some, but not all, cars recorded during the event were above and beyond any level seen in the previous two seasons of the FIA WTCR, apart from at FIA WTCR Race of Germany. Goodyear, DSE and the FIA are working with the teams to fully understand the cause, including analysing car setup, track severity and the impact of the track temperatures.
The preliminary data for the forthcoming races at Anneau du Rhin and the fact that several teams tested there in April without reporting tyre performance issues has led to Goodyear confirming that there will be no change in the tyre specification. In addition, a free practice session took place this evening including full race simulations. Goodyear will continue working closely with teams to advise on setup recommendations.
After the remaining circuits in the rescheduled 2022 season are confirmed, Goodyear will review the tyre specification and setup recommendation for those circuits.
During 2022, Goodyear has been providing a specification of tyre that was approved by the championship and teams, and was used successfully in the 2020 and 2021 FIA WTCR seasons.
Statement from WSC President Marcello Lotti:
“WSC has always respected the competitors’ decisions, but in this case I can’t find any rationales. Especially after WSC has elaborated, together with the FIA, the series promoter and the tyre supplier, measures that would solve the issues, such as a 20-kilo reduction in the racing weight of all the cars and an increase in the number of new tyres that can be used during the racing weekend. And it’s worth to point out that the aforesaid weight break would make the Lynk & Co cars 30kg lighter than they were at the end of the 2021 season.
“On top of this, two free test sessions have been included in this weekend’s schedule, to offer all competitors the opportunity of evaluating the effectiveness of these measures as regards to the track’s characteristics. WSC will be represented this weekend at Anneau du Rhin, to show its full support to the FIA, the promoter, the competitors and the stakeholders.”