After the postponement of the season opener due to the coronavirus, the first Formula 1 race of the year will take place this weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. The same event will feature another premiere: Pirelli’s new 18-inch racing tyres will also be used for the first time, but initially only in Formula 2. Their debut in Formula 1 will follow later.
FIA confirms Hankook as future tyre partner for Formula E
Hankook will supply tyres to Formula E as the series’ third generation tyre partner. The FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) confirmed Hankook after a tender process and FIA World Motor Sport Council approval. The world championship, which stages races in metropolitan areas around the globe, will run on “sustainably produced, particularly long-lasting and energy-saving Hankook tyres,” the manufacturer says. Tyres for Formula E have previously been supplied by Michelin, which was the series' inaugural tyre partner.
Metzeler launches Racetec TD Slick motorcycle racing tyre
Metzeler has added the Racetec TD Slick to its racing tyre range, after unveiling the new tyre at EICMA in November. The new model is designed for motorcyclists and club racers for both competition and training. As such it has been manufactured primarily for ease of use. It does not require tyre warmers and does not require a particular bike set-up. It is also designed for consistent performance over multiple sessions, versatility on different asphalt types and operating temperatures, and high abrasion resistance. The rear tyre can also be reversed between sessions, useful on circuits which wear tyres more on one side.
Falken Motorsports has made a surprise addition to its NLS schedule. The tyre brand’s motorsport team will add the Porsche of Christian Engelhart and Dennis Olsen to this weekend’s opening NLS round. Falken says it originally planned to start the revised season with both of its Porsches at the NLS2 and 3 double-header on 11-12 July. A weather disrupted schedule and few other opportunities to test mean the race debut for the 2020 car has been brought forward.
Goodyear becomes Algarve Pro Racing ELMS LMP2 development partner
European Le Mans Series (ELMS) LMP2 racing team, Algarve Pro Racing has made Goodyear its tyre technical partner. The reigning Asian Le Mans Series Champion has already demonstrated race-winning pedigree and a deep understanding of how to maximise tyre performance. Goodyear says the partnership will allow it to receive valuable technical feedback on a variety of European tracks.
First OE fitment for Michelin connected road-legal track tyre
Michelin has launched a new Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect road-legal track tyre. Intended for 80 per cent track use, the Connect version of the Pilot Sport Cup 2 has an integrated container for a sensor. This makes it the first 100 per cent connect-ready tyre on the market. Users need only insert the Michelin Track Connect solution sensors. This allows drivers to optimise their performance during track days. Further improvements to the tyre construction and tread have helped Michelin offer a tyre that improves on the base Pilot Sport Cup 2, itself a favourite fitment of GT racing models. The tyre will receive its world premiere as original equipment on the BMW M2 CS.
Pirelli confirms tyre nominations for rescheduled F1 calendar
Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has confirmed the compound choices for the first eight 2020 grands prix. Pirelli has made two interesting decisions in this list. First, the softest C5 compound will not feature, a fact most probably informed by the lack of a street circuit in the current calendar. Secondly, the Silverstone double-header on 2 and 9 August will get two different sets of compounds, with C1-3 at the first grand prix, and C2-4 at the second. This will provide an interesting comparison for fans, and gives the tyre manufacturer another chance to discuss the effects different tyre compounds can have on F1 racing.
Falken to start Nürburgring testing ahead of NLS2 racing
Falken Motorsports will resume its 2020 testing at the at the Nürburgring on 15 June. The Sumitomo tyre brand’s team will run its two Porsche 911s in the first official NLS test session since restrictions lifted. Klaus Bachler and Martin Ragginger will share one of the 2020 spec 991.2 GT3 R Porsches, whilst Sven Müller and Dirk Werner will pilot the other. Falken adds that it will race at NLS2 and 3 on 11-12 July.
Nankang Rubber Tire has opened a new showroom at Nürburgring Boulevard, as part of the ATOMIC-SHOP Motorsport Showroom. The manufacturer, which produces racing tyres for global motorsport codes, is the first Taiwanese manufacturer to have a showroom at the Nürburgring.
Team Yokohama’s Travis Pastrana to star in Gymkhana action video
Team Yokohama member and US rally champion Travis Pastrana will star in Gymkhana 2020. The newest edition of the global stunt video series will see the Nitro Circus co-founder take a Subaru fitted with Yokohama to the limits – and beyond.
Motorsport UK to open permit applications ahead of UK green flag
Motorsport UK will invite online permit applications from 1 June 2020. The organisation is hoping to get the season underway following lockdown on 4 July, the earliest opportunity after its suspension expires on 30 June. The UK governing body said that it has continued “positive dialogue with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport”, during which it set out its strategy for giving motorsport disciplines the green flag. However, July events will not include national championships, as the governing body seeks to limit the potential for interregional and international travel – though FIA championships are specifically exempt from this rule, allowing for the proposed Formula 1 grands prix to go ahead at Silverstone later in the month. Motorsport UK’s board is due to meet on 3 June, after which more details will be released.