There was no shortage of tire issues at the Rolex 24.
Tire manufacturer Continental Tires says the malfunctions are due to improper use by the racing teams, not due to defects by Continental, according to autoweek.com.
Wayne Taylor Racing — last year’s overall winner — was one of those teams.. WTR suffered five punctures, which lead to the early exit of the No. 10. Continental said this was due to the tires pressure exceeding the minimum air pressure recommendations.
Another issue that troubled some was using more than two stints on the tires, which exceeds the amount Continental suggested for optimal use. The No. 31 Action Express Cadillac was one of the aforementioned vehicles, but after a close call nearly halfway through they managed to finish in second overall.
A statement from Continental Tires included some of the reasoning for their findings:
“The prototypes continue to get more competitive each year and teams are doing everything they can to seek out every last tenth of a second. Many teams over the last 24 hours looked for every advantage by lowering air pressure and using aggressive camber. When this happens, and teams are not within the parameters we set forth and problems can occur. Especially when double stinting a set of tires.
“These are the same dry tires we used last year without issue and the cars have not changed. The teams within the parameters are double stinting tires with no issue.
“In the case of Wayne Taylor Racing, they were operating within the recommendations we set forth. Of their five issues, we have identified two as punctures and are working with WTR to identify the cause of the other three issues.”
Coincidentally one team that followed the suggestions set forward by the tire manufacturer managed to finish in first place overall. The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi driven by Felipe Albuquerque, Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi claimed to not exceed the air pressure or camber settings and it paid off as they emerged victorious.