The Circuit of the Americas plays host to the fifth round of the 2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) on February 23rd. Goodyear is heading to the United States leading the LMP2 class with the Jackie Chan DC Racing team.
With three podiums from the first four races, the Chinese entry currently leads the LMP2 class with 72 points thanks to strong performances from their driving trio of Gabriel Aubry, Will Stevens and Ho-Pin Tung.
Goodyear supplies tyres to Jackie Chan DC Racing and Jota Sport. Jota sits just 10 points behind their Goodyear stablemate after a strong start to the season that included victory in the 4 hours of Shanghai for Anthony Davidson, Antonio Felix Da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez. Shanghai marked Goodyear’s first win since their international endurance racing comeback. The success of this programme has helped Goodyear be appointed as the sole tyre supplier for the LMP2 category from next season, beginning in September 2020.
Known as the Lone Star Le Mans, the Austin (Texas) circuit replaces the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo after the Brazilian event was cancelled.
New Texas challenges await teams, drivers and tyre suppliers.
Featuring 20 corners, the 5.5km (3.41mile) circuit brings a new challenge for the Goodyear teams with its undulations, a combination of high G-force bends and the track’s rough surface.
Since last year’s Formula One Grand Prix, the circuit has been partially resurfaced to eliminate these bumps as Mike McGregor, Manager Race Sales, Testing & Track Support explains: « The high-speed first sector has been resurfaced, as has the final corner. This means the circuit has a combination of surface types so our focus will be on working with our teams to get the optimum balance of high-speed directional change stability in the first sector and traction in the more technical final sector. Also, WEC has never raced at Austin so early in the season. The temperatures may well be cooler than at previous races at this circuit so we are preparing for all eventualities.
« We are taking the same two specifications of tyre that we used in the previous races as they have both been proven to have a wide operating window. That versatility is ideal for such a demanding track with highly variable temperatures. »
NASCAR star tested on Goodyear at Austin.
Opened in 2012, the Circuit of the Americas was designed by renowned architect Hermann Tilke and first hosted a WEC race in 2013. It has also been used for Formula One, MotoGP and IndyCar, establishing itself as one of the USA’s premier motorsport venues in its short lifetime. One major series that hasn’t yet raced at Austin is Goodyear-equipped NASCAR, but three-time champion Tony Stewart tested his Haas Ford Mustang there last year and described the challenges of the daunting first sequence, « Turn One is uphill and it’s big braking and then you turn and you start a four-set sequence of right-left esses. Every turn in that sequence of those eight corners, the radius gets tighter. Each corner gets tighter, tighter, tighter, tighter, tighter, and that’s what makes it so technical. »
On the same day as the Lone Star Le Mans, the NASCAR stars will be in action 1,300 miles away in Las Vegas, showing the breadth and diversity of Goodyear’s racing reach.
FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Teams Top 5
1) Jackie Chan DC Racing – Goodyear, 72 points
2) United Autosports, 69 points
3) Racing Team Nederland, 66 points
4) Jota Sport – Goodyear, 62 points
5) Signatech Alpine, 56 points