AKRON, Ohio - There are just a handful of magic words in motorsports; words that convey speed and competition. Le Mans, Corvette and Goodyear are three of those words. This weekend the three come together again, the result of a major effort on...
AKRON, Ohio - There are just a handful of magic words in motorsports; words that convey speed and competition. Le Mans, Corvette and Goodyear are three of those words.
This weekend the three come together again, the result of a major effort on the parts of Chevrolet and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company to tackle the grand prize of sports car racing, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
When Chevrolet approached Goodyear in 1998 to provide tires for their fledgling program, Goodyear’s answer was a resounding, "Yes!"
"The Corvette GTO program mirrors the commitment Goodyear is making to sports car racing," says Stu Grant, Goodyear’s general manager for global race tires. "The Corvette is the great American sports car and the Corvette has been on Goodyear street tires since the beginning. It’s only natural that when the Chevrolet Corvette goes racing, it runs on Goodyear Eagles."
After extensive testing in 1999, the Goodyear Eagles on the GM Goodwrench Service Plus C5-R Corvettes for 2000 include new compounds and constructions, along with the famous yellow lettering seen on Eagles competing in NASCAR racing.
"Building a tire for sports car racing at a circuit like Le Mans is precisely the type of challenge Goodyear engineers look for," states Bob Shaffer, Goodyear’s sports car marketing manager. "Based on the performance of the tires at Daytona and Sebring, we’ve been able to develop new tires that will meet the challenge of Le Mans."
The results have been impressive. The Corvette has been on the GTS class pole in its two North American appearances, setting class records at Daytona and Sebring. Driver Ron Fellows’ pole-winning effort at Sebring was particularly astounding, the Canadian breaking his own track record by 2.3 seconds.
"Goodyear continues to make gains for us," Fellows says. "This is probably the fifth or sixth generation of Goodyear tires since Sebring last year. They have really worked on the tires for us. It all translates into us continuing to make progress, and we like our prospects."
That progress is proof of Goodyear’s commitment to field the best tire in sports car racing, according to Grant. "Goodyear has a long tradition in sports car racing, extending back to the early days of the sport," Grant says. "In fact, it was Goodyear’s success in at Le Mans in the 1960s that propelled us to the forefront in all types of racing during the next few decades and to the reputation for fielding a winning product that we enjoy today.
"We find that there is good value in sports car racing and in working closely with the Corvette program," Grant adds. "To honor that commitment, Goodyear will continue its testing and development programs in the sports car arena, where there is a direct correlation to the tires we develop for consumer use on the highway."
<pre> DESCRIPTION: GOODYEAR EAGLE SPORTS CAR SPECIAL Front 25.5x12.0-18 Rear 28.0x12.5-18 NUMBER OF TIRES SUPPLIED: 800 RECOMMENDED COLD PRESSURE: Front 22 psi Rear 20 psi
ESTIMATED PIT STOPS: Approximately every 13 laps.
For more infomation, log into the Goodyear Racing website, www.goodyear.com/us/racing.