WTCR wants Lynk & Co back for 2023 after sudden pullout

The boss of the World Touring Car Cup has stated his hope that Cyan Lynk & Co will return next year, following its dramatic mid-season withdrawal over tyre safety concerns.

Yann Ehrlacher, Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR

Speaking at the French round at l’Anneau du Rhin this weekend, WTCR director Jean-Baptiste Ley was conciliatory towards the reigning champion team after it pulled the plug this week on the rest of its 2022 campaign.

This followed the withdrawal of all five of its Lynk & Co 03 TCRs on the formation laps of the races at Vallelunga.

The team claimed it was impossible to complete a race distance on the spec Goodyear runner at the Rome circuit, while Yvan Muller suffered a high-speed crash in practice following a front-left tyre failure.

“We need to respect the decision from the competitors,” said Ley.

“That is the main point. It is their decision and I really do respect it. Obviously our goal now is to continue the ongoing discussions with them to reach an agreement for them to be back in the next season.

“Cyan has been part of the championship for many years, they have brought a lot to the championship. We need to respect that.

“Obviously this situation is complicated for all parties. The main purpose is to continue to work together in the future.”

WTCR field has been depleted following Cyan's withdrawal

WTCR field has been depleted following Cyan's withdrawal

Photo by: WTCR

Ley admitted “the series is crossing a difficult time at this moment”, before adding confirmation of two new rounds to complete the season will come following the FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting next week. The planned Asian leg was cancelled because of ongoing restrictions caused by the pandemic.

“We have submitted a few days ago to the FIA a revised calendar to replace the Asian campaign with two events,” said Ley.

“Also we have already started to work on the 2023 season with a proper calendar, moving back to the expected standard from WTCR, with a wide range of events on a worldwide basis, with also some improvements and new concepts in the format of the championship to attract more competitors and move back to the normal WTCR level, with numerous cars on the grid and proper events.”

The withdrawal of the Cyan Lynk & Cos leaves just 12 entries on the grid for the two races in France this weekend. Following analysis of the tyre problems, a 20kg reduction in weight for all cars has been implemented in an attempt to reduce the risk of further failures – a move that wasn’t enough to convince Cyan to remain in the series.

Marcello Lotti, president of the WSC organisation and founder of the TCR rulebook, confirmed that Cyan Lynk & Co had requested a change to the Balance of Performance specifically for its own car.

“We received a request in our technical department from [Cyan] that it was OK to have this 20kg reduction for all cars, but their request was also to have a change in BoP for their car, to have a reduction from another 30kg,” he said.

“We explained very clearly to them, in terms of timing it was really impossible to make an adjustment dedicated to Lynk & Co.

“First to adjust BoP we need to have clear analysis from the changes we apply, where the car would be positioned compared to the others. Without enough time, especially linked to weight and height, it was for us not fair and especially for the other competitors, so we said it is not possible to take this kind of decision today.

“Probably with time we could make a better evaluation for 30kg and probably 50kg, working on the power of the engine. But you can imagine that is not something to request for today or tomorrow.”

Cyan had sought to run reduced weight, which the organisers decreed would not be fair

Cyan had sought to run reduced weight, which the organisers decreed would not be fair

Photo by: WTCR

Marek Nawarecki, director of the FIA’s sport and touring cars department, said “we cannot point to only one reason or specific condition” for the failures, but did refer to “some weaknesses that have been identified in the tyres by the tyre manufacturer”.

This followed tests carried out in the wake of the failures that led to the cancellation of the races due to be held on the Nurburgring Nordschleife in May and also after the spate of problems experienced at Vallelunga, which were not limited to the Cyan Lynk & Cos.

Earlier this week, Goodyear released a statement on its findings following the failures at the Italian circuit.

“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 WTCR, apart from at the 2022 WTCR Race of Germany,” it said.

“Goodyear, DSE [promoter Dicovery Sports Events] 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 l’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.”

An extra test session was held at the circuit this week for all competing teams, ahead of the race weekend, to allow for extra preparation.

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