Goodyear has announced its return to top-level sports car competition in the FIA World Endurance Championship next season.
The parent company of Dunlop is developing a new range of tires for the 2019-20 campaign, which kicks off at Silverstone in September.
It was last represented in the top tier of sports car racing in 2006, when it supplied tires for teams in the American Le Mans Series and last raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Goodyear says it has been developing a range of new LMP tires at its facilities in Germany and Luxembourg for over a year.
This development and subsequent manufacturing process will take place in sync with its Eagle F1 SuperSport performance and track day tire product.
It’s understood that Goodyear will replace Dunlop in the WEC, providing competition to Michelin, while its involvement in the ELMS has yet to be decided.
Dunlop has nine customers using its tires in this weekend’s Le Mans race, with three of those competing in the 2018-19 WEC ‘Super Season’.
“The nature of the races, varying from 4 hours to 24 hours, mean tire choice and strategy are critical and it provides a motivating challenge for our technology team in our European innovation centers ahead of exploring other racing opportunities for the brand,” said Goodyear motorsport director Ben Crawley.
“Motorsport continues to be one of the most popular global sports. It is an ideal platform for us to engage with consumers around the heritage, passion, innovation and technology that make up Goodyear’s story in racing.
“We will focus on sports car racing at first, before applying learnings to other categories of racing, which could be within the endurance arena or in other racing series.”
Goodyear is currently active in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, while Dunlop will continue to be involved in international motorcycle racing when its WEC term ends.