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WTCR Nurburgring

WTCR Nurburgring Nordschleife races cancelled over Goodyear tyre failures

The World Touring Car Cup has cancelled its two races on the Nurburgring Nordschleife this weekend because of safety fears over Goodyear’s control tyres on the 15.77-mile circuit.

Yvan Muller, Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR

The two races, due to run on Saturday morning ahead of the Nurburgring 24 Hours, were officially canned shortly before the first was to begin. The decision follows a number of tyre failures during the two free practice sessions on Thursday and qualifying on Friday.

The stewards decision read: “Since the beginning of round two in Nurburgring, several problems happened with the tyres on different cars during free practice and qualifying sessions.

“After a meeting held on Saturday 28 May at 08.00am with Goodyear management, FIA officials and [promoter] Discovery representatives, it has been stated by Goodyear that the safety of the tyres cannot be guaranteed and confirmed by a Goodyear official statement received on 28 May at 09.45am.”

Race one was due to start at 10am.

“Therefore the stewards have decided to stop the competition due to serious safety reasons,” the statement concluded.

Before qualifying, the stewards had accepted Goodyear’s request to supply two extra new tyres to each of the series’ 17 entries from “an additional batch from a different build period”, while teams were given an extra 15-minute test session, which took place directly before qualifying.

But during qualifying Cyan Racing’s Yvan Muller suffered another tyre failure on his first lap, following punctures in both free practice sessions. His second qualifying run left him 10th, which would have put him on pole position for the partially reversed-grid second race – although he quickly cast doubt on whether he would compete.

His Lynk & Co team-mates Santi Urrutia and Yann Ehrlacher qualified third and fourth behind the two Audis of Mehdi Bennani and Gilles Magnus, but only completed a single lap each because of the team’s safety fears over the tyres.

Mehdi Bennani took pole in the Comtoyou Audi, but the session was overshadowed by tyre problems

Mehdi Bennani took pole in the Comtoyou Audi, but the session was overshadowed by tyre problems

Photo by: WTCR

“That was a tricky one again,” said four-time World Touring Car Champion Muller.

“I had a tyre failure on run one again, so we decided to go for the second run. But I had a vibration all the way through.

“It’s a shame for Santi and Yann because I think they were capable of getting the pole position, but because of the risk they decided to not let them out.

“We have to survive tomorrow, but right now I have to tell you I am not sure if I will race. I don’t want to die.”

A statement from Goodyear provided to Autosport said: “Tyres from a number of different production batches were used throughout the various sessions. There was no difference in the performance or durability between the batches.

“Following tyre conditions experienced during the various sessions this week, we have conducted a preliminary traceability review of production batches reported.

“The analysis to date, together with the inspection of returned tyres, has not identified any manufacturing issues with the specification.

“Further analysis of reported conditions in collaboration with the teams is needed before we can recommend further use of this specification in the current FIA WTCR race format. We will be collecting all tyres for further analysis.

Néstor Girolami, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR

Néstor Girolami, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR

Photo by: WTCR

“Safety is our first consideration and we understand the importance of giving drivers the confidence they need to perform on a circuit with the specific requirements of the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

“We are committed to conduct a full comprehensive technical analysis of the product as well as the tyre usage based on the race conditions in view of the future FIA WTCR race events of the season.”

Honda released a statement on Saturday morning that said it “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 Nurburgring Nordschleife.”

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