Garage 56 Takes Advantage of New Tire Technology

Goodyear NASCAR's Garage 56 will have a special tire for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Avoiding issues is a major focus for the Garage 56 group as it takes on the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Goodyear will help in this pursuit with the implementation of new tire technology.

The Garage 56 Chevrolet Camaro will have Goodyear tires during the endurance race, which will provide real-time data to Hendrick Motorsports. This is made possible through Goodyear’s SightLine tire technology that uses a non-battery sensor cured into the tires to provide information about tire pressure, track temperature, and other applicable data.


The SightLine technology has been made available for companies as they manage their fleet vehicles. Those with cargo vans newer than 2015 — Ram Promaster, Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter — have been able to use the sensors to monitor vehicles putting in miles delivering cargo.

This technology will now be a crucial part of the world’s most prestigious endurance race. Crew chief Greg Ives and the engineers will know exactly how the tires are holding up while Jimmie Johnson, Mike Rockenfeller, and Jenson Button complete laps around the 8.469-mile road course.

“Because tires are a vehicle’s only connection to the road, they have the potential to provide tremendous real-time insight that improves the performance of drivers under the most grueling of conditions,” said Rich Kramer, Goodyear chairman, CEO, and president.

“Goodyear is extremely proud to have the tire intelligence to unlock this potential in motorsports, and it’s been a privilege to partner with NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, and Chevrolet on this Garage 56 entry.”

NASCAR & Hendrick Motorsports Will Have Multiple Tire Options

GettyThe Garage 56 entry sits during a ceremony in France.

As a 24-hour endurance event, Le Mans presents multiple issues that teams must overcome. They have to handle temperature changes, other classes of vehicles, lack of visibility at night, and potential drastic weather changes.

The forecast for Le Mans is largely favorable. Temperatures are expected to be in the high-70s during the day and the low-60s at night. Though there is a 50 percent chance of precipitation on the opening day.

NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports will have multiple tire options for the 24-hour race. There will be some built for dry conditions, which will likely be the main ones used if the forecast remains favorable.

There are also two other options for wet weather. One is the intermediate wet tire that is built for mist and light rain. The other is the “full wet” tire that is built for heavy rain.

This particular full wet option has “a unique tread design and construction to help channel water out of the tire surface, while a softer tread compound helps maintain grip when the temperature of the track is cooler.”

Ives & Co. Have Already Gathered Some Information

No one knows how the Garage 56 Camaro and its drivers will handle the 24 Hours of Le Mans until the prestigious event begins. The team members have some ideas, and they have highlighted some potential areas where they could both gain ground or lose positions.

Johnson, in particular, talked about the traffic in the corners. He noted that the Chevrolet Camaro would make up ground on the straights, but he also said that it would struggle in the corners compared to other prototypes.

The tires will be another area where there could be concerns. The Garage 56 group will have to carefully study the lap times and the tire falloff throughout the endurance race while making decisions about pit stops.

While Hendrick Motorsports, Goodyear, and NASCAR may not know exactly how the tires will handle the full race, they do have some information gathered during the two free practice sessions on Sunday, June 4.

They will also have four more sessions before officially taking the green flag, which should only help them better prepare for a grueling weekend.

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