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GTWC Blowouts in Paul Ricard

Written by William Stephens, Edited by Tay Rui En

The 1000km of Paul Ricard was scarred by the frequent rear left punctures that plagued tyres nearing the end of stints at the end of the mistral straight and into the heavily committed corner of signes.

For the 2022 season, Pirelli had brought a new compound of tyres to the entire SRO motorsports group series that, apart from wearing faster, had little to no problems and were shown to be faster across both GT3 and GT4 classes which had met with no issues before the Paul Ricard 1000km run.

These Pirelli tyre failures mainly affected the Audi and Lamborghini cars that were generally running toward the front. It didn't take long before the first failure happened toward the end of the first hour, a trend that would soon manifest throughout the six-hour endurance race.

It wasn’t until the end of the second hour that one of the punctured cars ended up in the wall where it was buried underneath the tyre wall, meaning the driver was unable to open the door to get out of the car. It was at this point that all team managers of Audi-run cars were told to go to the race directors where they would try to find a solution to the Pirelli problems.

Despite having run into the night and finishing at midnight local time, the tyres were still failing, resulting in many cars retiring in order to prevent the cars from suffering a puncture.

These Pirelli rubber failures have raised many questions regarding the Spa 24 Hours. Specifically, if the issue could be repeated in future events and what could be done to help prevent these problems from reoccurring.


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