The competitors for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans will be allowed to heat their tires after all.
The FIA and ACO had originally disallowed tire ovens for the 2023 season, to save the energy that was used for all the heating, that the teams used to bring to the tracks.
Since the very moment that it was announced, there were a lot of teams fearing dangerous situations, when drivers were going to exit the pit on stone-cold tires. The tires had to be stored in shade, so not even the sunlight would be able to them up.
That fear became real at the 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps two weeks ago, where there were numerous accidents and incidents leading into and during the race itself due to cold tires – and that happened across all three classes.
So the FIA, ACO, Goodyear, and Michelin have decided to heat the tires with the traditional ovens, with a heater connected to it, so all 62 participants for the 24-hour race will have hot tires, when they go on track.
These small heaters will run on sustainable fuel from TotalEnergies, who also delivers all the fuel for all the race cars.
The exception is only for the 24-hour race. The rest of the FIA WEC season will happen without tire heaters. That won’t be too much of an issue at Monza or Bahrain – but there is a fear of troubles at Fuji, just like we saw at Spa, since the Japanese round sometimes is run in cold temperatures.
The 2023 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is run on 10-11 June.