Connect with us

24H Le Mans

Tire Warmers Reintroduced for Le Mans in One-Off Measure

Pre-heating tires to be allowed at 24H Le Mans in one-off measure amid WEC ban…

Photo: MPS Agency

Teams at the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be permitted to pre-heat tires in a one-off exemption to a ban that was introduced in the FIA World Endurance Championship this year.

Generator-powered tire warming ovens were banned at the start of the season on sustainability grounds but the measure drew criticism from some competitors, particularly after the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps where multiple cars had off-track moments on cold rubber.

The ACO on Thursday announced that tire warmers, which are designed to give tires more grip from the start of a stint, will be brought back for Le Mans only following an “in-depth evaluation” of data alongside official suppliers Michelin and Goodyear.

Michelin provides tires to all cars in the Hypercar and GTE-Am classes, while Goodyear works with LMP2 teams.

A statement from the ACO said that the measure will enable drivers “of all experience levels” to compete “in the safest possible environment” at next month’s 24-hour enduro where track temperatures can vary greatly between day and night.

“Tire manufacturers, teams and drivers will gain valuable time to develop better understanding of how to bring cold tires up to temperature ahead of the remainder of the 2023 FIA WEC season,” the statement added.

“The return of tire warmers will apply to all three FIA WEC classes for the purpose of consistency and equity.

“Furthermore, tire heating ovens will be powered by 100 percent sustainable fuel from FIA WEC’s exclusive supplier TotalEnergies.

“Moving away from tire warming was originally introduced as part of a long-term WEC tire road map, developed in consultation with tire manufacturers, and has been in the works over the last two years.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

Click to comment

More in 24H Le Mans