Goodyear says the Monza track characteristics are beneficial to the tire manufacturer as it accelerates its preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The American manufacturer is the exclusive supplier of tires for the LMP2 category of the FIA World Endurance Championship, which is competing this weekend at Monza in the third round of its 2021 campaign.
After two races with varying track conditions in Spa and Portimao, Mike McGregor, Goodyear Endurance Program Manager, says the nature of the Monza circuit, with its long straights, gives Goodyear the opportunity to draw comparisons with the Circuit de la Sarthe du Mans.
According to McGregor, this therefore gives a better understanding of what will be needed for the tires during the French endurance classic next month.
“So far this season we have seen two extreme track conditions,” he explains. “In Spa we had a cold and aggressive track, and in Portimao it was much smoother and warmer with the new surface there.
“The tires have gone through two extremes, and we can see that the operating window, especially of the single slick specification, is wide.
“Monza has big, long straights leading to tight corners which are good preparation for Le Mans. At the end of a long straight the tire temperatures have dropped, then they experience a high load with braking in the chicane, the long Parabolica on the right or turns like Lesmo 1 and 2.
“Drawing the similarities between these parts of the Monza track, and the Mulsanne straight and its chicanes at Le Mans, really helps our understanding before next month.”
The data available for Goodyear is further strengthened thanks to the round of the European Le Mans Series which took place at Monza last weekend.
In ELMS, the GTE estate also uses Goodyear tires, unlike the WEC, where all except the LMP2 category have their tires supplied by Michelin.
McGregor says that while Monza is a new venue for the World Endurance Championship, having never raced here before, the data provided by the ELMS round, along with previous testing, is well prepared for Sunday’s race.
“We did a lot of testing at Monza so although this is a new track in the WEC calendar we know it well and so do many teams. However, the additional experience from last weekend’s ELMS race gave us even more data for this weekend. Each lap adds to our knowledge.
“We are expecting changing weather conditions so it will be interesting to see how each team might choose to use the intermediate and wet tires. Last season the teams used our mid-size tire in a wide range of conditions, but we know our new 2021 rain tire has a wide range of applications as well.
“On a dry track, some teams can stay in the wet until they can put on slicks, but others can use intermediates in wet and almost dry conditions.
“This overlap in performance will also help us understand the changing conditions we always see at Le Mans.”