The ‘Option’ slick compound tyre has returned to the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch following calls for its reintroduction from drivers and teams. Goodyear brought the Option to last weekend’s BTCC round at Brands Hatch, ending the practice of providing a single slick tyre at each round, as had been the case ever since the championship embraced hybrid power in 2022.
The logic behind the single slick tyre was to give teams a consistent platform for developing their hybrid technology. Now a year in, drivers and teams unanimously support the return of the Goodyear ‘Option’ to promote a wider variety of race strategies. Three compounds – hard (green sidewall), medium (yellow sidewall), and soft (white sidewall) – will be available in 2023, with Goodyear nominating two for most rounds, excluding the first round in Donington Park where the medium was used, and at Thruxton on 3-4 June, where the abrasive nature of the circuit means only the hard will be available that weekend. At Snetterton and Croft, drivers will be required to use all three Goodyear slicks.
For racing at Brands Hatch, Goodyear nominated the soft and medium compounds, with drivers required to use the option tyre for one of the three races. In qualifying, all cars needed to use the medium. Teams were not required to specify their tyre choices in advance, only when cars leave the pitlane.
Another layer of strategy
Prior to the weekend’s racing, which delivered victories to Ashley Sutton (races 2 and 3) and Colin Turkington (race 1), event leader Michael Butler commented that it would “be excellent to see how the different tyre strategies play out throughout a weekend.” Noting that the Brands Hatch weekend was the first time since 2019 that the soft tyre was used, Butler opined that this option “adds another layer of strategy to the championship” and is great for fans and spectators. “With the support of drivers and teams, we have reintroduced a second compound at the majority of races.
“We expect to see a notable advantage for ‘Option’ tyre runners at the beginning of a race, but that will likely see the medium compound come into play as the race progresses,” Butler added. “Drivers will have to think strategically to use the increased performance when it matters.”