After last year’s return to the skies, the Goodyear Blimp embarked on a wider European tour in 2021 that culminates with a visit to the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans for the second consecutive year.
On 19 August, the Goodyear Blimp will arrive at Le Mans, providing motorsport fans with aerial coverage of the race on Eurosport throughout the race on 21 – 22 August.
Before arriving at Le Mans, the Blimp will take a two day journey from Friedrichshafen in Germany, giving the residents of Basel, Besançon, Dole, Chalons-sur-Saône, Sancerre and Orléans the opportunity to spot the Goodyear icon in the sky.
The Blimp operating in Europe is a Goodyear-branded Zeppelin NT semi-rigid airship. This model is the largest of its kind in the world today, measuring 75 meters long, 19.5 meters wide and 17.4 meters high. It complements the three Blimps operated by Goodyear in the United States. These airships are often seen flying at major sporting events, such as NASCAR, for which Goodyear is the exclusive tyre supplier, NBA games, American college football games, and PGA golf tournaments.
The Goodyear Blimp also has an illustrious history in Europe. Between 1972 and 1986, a Goodyear Blimp named Europa was present at major sporting events such as the 24 hours of Le Mans, the Formula 1 Grands Prix and the French Open, or key cultural moments, such as two British royal weddings.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the second FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) round the Goodyear Blimp has visited this summer, following the 6 Hours of Monza in July.
During its 2021 European tour, the airship also flew over the world’s longest and most daunting racetrack, the Nürburgring. The German circuit hosted a round of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup in June marking the start of the Goodyear Blimp’s tour of major European motorsport events. Following the flight over the Nordschleife, the Blimp also provided aerial coverage at the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch and the electric PURE ETCR touring car event in Copenhagen, as well as visiting major European cities, such as London, Milan, and Prague.
Malachy Tuohy, Head of Communications, Consumer Europe, Goodyear: “The Goodyear Blimp has been providing motorsport fans with aerial coverage of major races throughout the summer. The Blimp’s return to the skies over Le Mans coincides with Goodyear being appointed to supply all the cars in the LMP2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This partnership allows us to showcase our tyre technology in the most famous endurance race in the world. We are ready for this challenge.”
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is an arena where Goodyear has proven the durability and performance of its tyres. After scoring 14 overall wins between 1965 and 1997, Goodyear returned in 2020, securing a double podium in the LMP2 prototype class.
The legendary Blimp returning to the skies will celebrate Goodyear’s heritage in the world of racing. From the unbeaten record in Formula 1 with 368 Grand Prix wins to the most recent partnerships with PURE ETCR, WTCR and WEC, Goodyear is reinforcing the link between its racing and road tyres.
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