The FIA, WSC Group (TCR global rights holder) and WTCR promoter Discovery Sports Events have issued responses to the withdrawal of Lynk & Co Cyan Racing from the FIA World Touring Car Cup.
The Swedish team announced on Thursday morning, ahead of this weekend’s WTCR round at Anneau du Rhin in France, that it would withdraw from the remainder of the season due to ongoing concerns over tire safety.
In light of the strong decision to fully withdraw from the championship, reducing the field to just 12 cars, a joint statement from the FIA and Discovery Sports Events was issued on Thursday afternoon:
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“Discovery Sports Events and the FIA are surprised by the decision of Cyan Racing and Geely Group Motorsport to discontinue their participation in the 2022 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup, which was not expected in light of extensive dialogue between the FIA, Cyan Racing, Geely Group Motorsport, Goodyear and WSC to address concerns following the tire issues that occurred during the WTCR Race of Italy.
“During positive discussions on Friday between the FIA, Geely and WSC, measures proposed by the FIA and WSC included reducing the compensation weight of all WTCR cars by 20 kilograms, Goodyear’s proposal of the organization of an additional test at Anneau du Rhin this evening to give all teams the opportunity to run Goodyear’s recommended settings on a track where Cyan Racing tested earlier this year, along with other teams, without reporting any tire-related issues.
“In addition to its support of this additional test and the analysis conducted to ensure that the tires work well on this circuit, Goodyear offered to replace the carry-over tires from the previous event.
“Today’s announcement, particularly so close to the home race of Yann Ehrlacher and Yvan Muller, two of FIA World Touring Car racing’s most decorative drivers, is not only surprising but is also very unfortunate and we share the collective sense of frustration of the WTCR Race of Alsace GrandEst “promoter and the fans.
“Fortunately, the WTCR can count on the participation of a number of other top teams and drivers, which means the WTCR Race of Alsace GrandEst will go ahead as planned.
“The focus will then turn to the remaining races of the season, details of which will be announced once an FIA World Motor Sport Council e-vote, due to begin on August 8, has been completed.”
WSC also issued a statement from WSC President Marcello Lotti expressing bemusement at the decision of Lynk & Co Cyan Racing.
“WSC has always respected the competitors’ decisions, but in this case I can’t find any rationales,” said the statement from Lotti. “Especially after WSC has elaborated, together with the FIA, the series promoter and the tire supplier, measures that would solve the issues, such as a 20-kilo reduction in the racing weight of all the cars and an increase in the number of new tires that can be used during the racing weekend. And it’s worth to point out that the aforesaid weight break would make the Lynk & Co cars 30 kg lighter than they were at the end of the 2021 season.
“On top of this, two free test sessions have been included in this weekend’s schedule, to offer all competitors the opportunity of evaluating the effectiveness of these measures as regards to the track’s characteristics.
“WSC will be represented this weekend at the Anneau du Rhin, to show its full support to the FIA, the promoter, the competitors and the stakeholders.”