Dunlop FIA World Endurance Championship teams face first race challenge under new regulations
- New teams: Two new teams choose Dunlop
- New regulations: WEC LMGTE Pro tyre restrictions introduced
- New tyres: All new specs for LMP2, LMGTE Pro and Am
- Tyre choices: Medium and medium-plus slick compounds in LMP2 & LMEGTE Pro & Am nominated for dry weather
Dunlop teams racing at Silverstone this weekend will all see regulation changes, many facing a new strategic challenge to the 2017 season. Dunlop has completely new tyre ranges for the LMP2 and GT squads competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in the 6 Hours of Silverstone on 17th April. A total of 14 cars out of 28 will be competing on Dunlop tyres.
All LMP2 teams have chosen to compete on Dunlop tyres; the nine cars are also all competing with Oreca chassis built to 2017 regulations. 2016 champions Signatech Alpine return to defend their title. LMP2 teams will have medium and medium-plus compounds available for the race, designed to contend with the new generation of LMP2 cars with estimates showing an increase in power of around 100bhp, 40% more downforce and 10% less drag. Dunlop based the tyre design on learnings from the 2016 involvement with their successful LMP1 programme.
In the LMGTE Pro class, Dunlop continues to work with partners Aston Martin Racing, double title winners in 2016 (the first year of the relationship). The two Aston Martin Vantages are running similar driver line-ups to 2016, with the inclusion of Dunlop development driver Daniel Serra and returning Richie Stanaway. New regulations mean reduced allowance of tyres for a race weekend, increasing the requirement for multiple stints. The tyres are developed specifically for the car and team with now-limited tyre development for this class permitted throughout the season. Previously this was unlimited but for 2017 only one further specification is allowed.
The most recent additions to the Dunlop family are two Porsche teams in LMGTE Am who announced their switch to Dunlop two weeks ago. The third Dunlop runner in the class is another Aston Martin Racing Vantage which scored three podium finishes including two race wins out of four events on Dunlop tyres. Different tyres have been developed to suit each chassis with the specifications fixed for the full season.
Sebastien Montet talks about tyres for the new-generation LMP2 cars in a short video here.
Mike McGregor, Manager Testing & Track Support, Dunlop Motorsport
“Our LMP2 tyres have been designed with the knowledge that we gained with our LMP1 non-hybrid racing in 2016. We tested extensively in 2016 around the world to finalise our range for this season.
“Following on from the success with Aston Martin last year, we had to revise our view on how to bring the optimum product to suit the new 2017 tyre regulations. This meant that all the winter testing was based on new strategies and tyres to optimise multiple stints.
“We had to have a different logic again for GTE Am, with tuning tyres to suit the Porsche and also the returning Aston Martin, having different regulations in the Am class.
Silverstone is a home race given our UK technical and sales centre. In fact, being a global motorsport operation, we have technical centres in all but six of the nine WEC rounds.
The 6 Hours of Silverstone round of the FIA World Endurance Championship starts at noon on Sunday 16th April.
Entry list including Dunlop teams can be found here
Dunlop 2017 Tyres - FIA World Endurance Championship
LMP2 – Set specification (soft, medium, medium-plus, intermediate, wet)
Open tyre competition
Two out of three dry specifications nominated per event
Tyres permitted per 6 hour event: 3 sets free practice + 4 sets qualifying and race + two single tyres anytime during event. The LMP2 range is completely new, developing from the strong 2016 performance.
LMGTE Pro – Confidential tyre range – full range for all conditions
Bespoke product for Aston Martin Racing
Two car entry
Tyres permitted per 6 hour event: 3 sets free practice + 4 sets qualifying and race + two single tyres anytime during event
LMGTE Am – Set specification (soft, medium, medium-plus, intermediate, wet)
Bespoke product for Aston Martin
Bespoke product for Porsche
Tyres permitted per 6 hour event: 4 sets free practice + 6 sets qualifying and race + two single tyres anytime during event. The LMGTE Am range is fixed for the full season.
James BaileyEMEAUnited Kingdomjames@clivereeves.com44 790 4114 414