Dunlop heads to Spa - with a team of 500
The penultimate round of the European Le Mans Series takes place at the Belgian Spa-Francorchamps circuit – a favourite with many teams and drivers. The race starts at 14.00 on Sunday 25th September following qualifying on Saturday afternoon. Dunlop will be offering their customary technical service to many leading teams - and the regular Dunlop Motorsport team will be joined by 500 colleagues from the wider Goodyear Dunlop group business.
The 16 hours of racing so far have brought three teams to the top of the table; Thiriet by TDS Racing has won three of the races and set two pole positions in their Oreca giving them a nine point advantage. G-Drive Racing won the opening round at Silverstone in the Gibson with the team only failing to score a podium finish at the last round in France. A further eight points behind is the AF Corse run BR01 squad with two second places and consistent finishes keeping them in championship contention. Mathematically there are a further three teams that are still capable of taking the title, although if the only non-Dunlop runner in the top-six fails to score the point for pole position at Spa in qualifying on Saturday, Dunlop is guaranteed to retain the 2016 crown. Dunlop has an unbroken record for 2016 of taking every ELMS podium position for the open-competition LMP2 class.
In the all-Dunlop LM GTE class, the competition is wide open with the top three teams separated by only eight points. There have been three different winners and seven different podium finishers so far this season. JMW Motorsport leads in a Ferrari 458 Italia, followed by Aston Martin Racing in the V8 Vantage with the AT Racing Ferrari in third.
Dunlop is allocating the 2016 medium and medium-plus options for LMP2. In the all-Dunlop LM GTE class, teams continues with the season-standard specification, also medium and medium-plus compounds.
One Team Spirit
Spa Francorchamps is half way between Goodyear Dunlop’s European Headquarters in Brussels and the company’s Innovation Centre in Colmar Berg, Luxembourg. Over 500 associates from the company will be joining their Motorsport colleagues at Spa to watch the 4h race and get a behind the scenes look at how the Motorsport world can support their work in the Car and Commercial tyre business.
Mike McGregor, Dunlop Manager Testing & Track Support
“We know that the weather for Spa is changeable and can be quite warm in September so we have allocated accordingly. We know that the medium tyres have a very wide operating window so they are very capable of still performing well if it happens to be cooler than we expect. It should be a fantastic race in both of our classes – the result here is incredibly important in determining our 2016 champions so that is bound to have an impact on the racing.”
The European Le Mans Series 4 Hours of the Spa-Francorchamps starts at 14.00 CEST on Sunday 25th September.
Dunlop European Le Mans Series 2016 Tyres
LMP2 – Set specification (soft, medium, medium-plus, intermediate, wet)
Open tyre competition
Two out of three dry specifications nominated per event
Tyres permitted per 4 hour event: 5 sets plus two single tyres
The LMP2 range is the same new range that features in WEC. The different conditions of Europe, generally cooler, combined with the improved operating windows, will tend to favour the soft and medium options in ELMS.
LMGTE – All-Dunlop class (medium, medium-plus, intermediate, wet)
Controlled/single brand tyres for all three manufacturers represented
Tyres permitted per 4 hour event: unlimited
Intermediate tyre introduced for 2016
2016 confidential tyre range – supervised use with greater performance
The ELMS LMGTE Pro range is all-new for 2016, designed specifically for ELMS with improvement emphasis on performance and consistency. The introduction of Dunlop’s intermediate tyre will reduce team costs and add strategy options during races with mixed weather conditions.
James BaileyEMEAUnited Kingdomjbailey@goodyear.com44 7770 682413