Lynk & Co Cyan Racing has suspended its World Touring Car Cup competition effective immediately due to ongoing issues surrounding tire failures across the grid. The team highlights the large number of tire failures this season, with the Nurburgring round of the WTCR in May even being cancelled on safety grounds.
The most recent race weekend at Vallelunga in Italy saw the team calling for action from the WTCR stakeholders prior to qualifying after continued tire issues, including a crash for Yvan Muller at over 220 km/h. Subsequently, the team withdrew from both races – in which cars from Audi, Cupra and Honda also suffered failures – with only a handful of cars of the remaining 11-car field finishing without tire related issues.
The Lynk & Co 03 TCR model has, as per the balance of performance of the WTCR, been the heaviest car of the field since its introduction in 2019 – currently running 80kg heavier than the championship-leading Hyundai Elantra N TCR model. This, Cyan Racing says, means it has been most frequently and most severely affected by tire failures in 2022.
The team states that after it failed to find a satisfactory solution with the WTCR stakeholders in the week leading up the next race at Anneau Du Rhin race in France (August 6-7), it consulted with parent company Geely Group Motorsport and decided to suspend further WTCC competition.
“We have a tire this year that cannot handle the balance of performance and compensation weight window for all cars on all tracks. And our car runs heaviest of all. As a result, our drivers are subjected to tire failures at high speeds and crashes. It is simply not possible for Cyan Racing to continue the season in a safe manner,” said Fredrik Wahlén, team manager of Cyan Racing.
“It is the toughest decision we have ever taken as every single member of Cyan Racing is here to win and have sacrificed a lot of things to get where we are today. But we can’t race in a safe way under the current circumstances and safety is our number one priority. We wish to thank the FIA for their support during these tough circumstances.”
The decision means that the five-car, five-time world champion team will not take part in this weekend’s races at Anneau Du Rhin or any of the yet-to-be-confirmed remaining rounds of the 2022 WTCR season.
With the remaining races of the 2022 WTCR calendar still not confirmed, Cyan Racing notes that it is impossible for it to perform simulations and calculations connected to tire safety performance for the remaining races. Furthermore, no race specification tires have so far been made available for private testing, making it impossible for teams to complete further validation runs.
“It has been a prolonged and incredibly frustrating situation for the team, the drivers, commercial partners and fans, a situation which have progressively pushed us out of the championship. We are very thankful for the efforts of the FIA in trying to find a solution. Unfortunately, the combined effort of the WTCR stakeholders could not present a satisfactory solution to enable Cyan Racing to participate in the WTCR in a safe manner,” concluded Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, head of Geely Group Motorsport.