Dunlop teams smash Le Mans lap records in qualifying
- Pole positions in two of three classes
- LMP2 laps 7 seconds faster than 2008-set record
- Aston Martin takes three-tenths off GTE Pro record
Dunlop-shod G-Drive Racing set the pole position time for the LMP2 class today in the final qualifying session for Saturday’s Le Mans 24 Hour race. The Russian squad set a time of 3:25.352, beating the lap record set in 2008 by an impressive seven seconds. The new generation LMP2 cars benefit from increased power, reduced drag and increased downforce with new tyres designed to maximise performance of the various chassis. The top 19 LMP2 teams in qualifying order have chosen to compete on Dunlop tyres.
In the GTE Pro class, Aston Martin Racing’s Richie Stanaway was the first to break the 2016 lap record, but less than a lap later his team-mate Darren Turner made a further gain in the sister Vantage to carve 0.35 seconds from the previous class best. The pair take the pole position and third in class.
GTE Am saw the #98 Aston Martin Vantage at the top of the class for much of the three qualifying sessions, ultimately losing out on pole position by just 0.4 seconds to start second in class. The time of 3:53.233 is nearly four seconds faster than last year’s qualifying time, in part due to the 2017 specification tyres and the resurfacing of some of the track. The fastest Porsche, the Dempsey-Proton Racing entry will start the race from fourth in GTE Am.