G-Drive Racing & JMW Motorsport take 2017 ELMS titles on Dunlop tyres
- Graff and Proton Competition take 4 Hours of Portimão race wins
- 9th Consecutive Dunlop ELMS Title
- 17th Consecutive Dunlop ELMS race win
- Near-perfect Dunlop 2017 statistics in open competition LMP2 class
- Close racing throughout season across manufacturers in GTE
LMP2 – Open tyre competition
G-Drive Racing are 2017 European Le Mans Series (ELMS) champions after the final round at the Autodromo do Algarve. The team, with drivers Memo Rojas, Ryo Hirakawa and Léo Roussel, was fourth at the Portuguese season finale this weekend in the squad’s Oreca which was enough to secure the title. G-Drive Racing made podium appearances at every round except the finale, with a season tally of one win, three second places and one fourth place. United Autosports kept the competition strong to the final round having won two races; Silverstone and Red Bull Ring. The fellow Dunlop-shod title rivals finished ahead in third in the Ligier, but the points haul wasn’t enough to overturn G-Drive’s pre-race advantage of 18 points. Graff took the team’s second consecutive win at the 4 Hours of Portimão, also in an Oreca to finish third in the championship standings.
Dunlop’s 2017 LMP2 statistics:
2017 saw a strong performance from the Dunlop teams in the open-tyre LMP2 class.
Dunlop teams claimed:
- 6/6 race wins
- 18/18 podiums
- 6/6 fastest laps
- 5/6 pole positions
- 740/751 laps led
The results take Dunlop’s record to 17 consecutive race wins and nine consecutive ELMS titles.
LM GTE: all-Dunlop class
In the all-Dunlop GTE class, where five teams were mathematically capable of claiming the title during the final race, Proton Competition won the race with JMW Motorsport taking second to be crowned champions. The title was by no means certain going into the final round. JMW Motorsport’s 2017 title perhaps compensates for missing out on the 2016 crown in the last moments of the last race. Portimão was the team’s fifth ELMS podium of the season, including a win at Monza, in the Ferrari F488 GTE driven by Rob Smith, Jody Fannin and Will Stevens. Closest rivals were TF Sport with the Aston Martin Vantage who were points leaders throughout the season and claimed five podium finishes. Another Ferrari bidding for the title was the number 55 Spirit of Race F488 which took two wins and three pole positions during the season but suffered from mechanical issues and retired during the race.
Paul Bryant, Event Leader, Dunlop Motorsport
"Congratulations to G Drive Racing and JMW Motorsport , our 2017 champions. The demanding Portimão circuit provided a great finale to a very close season of European Le Mans Series racing. We have a lot of experience at this circuit and we made a decision to focus on using our Medium and Medium Plus tyres rather than Soft. This decision gave our teams very strong and consistent race pace, with our winner finishing over a full lap ahead of the top non-Dunlop car. Endurance racing isn’t about one lap pace – it is about consistency and enduring performance over four hours, although getting fastest lap by 0.8 seconds from the competition was a welcome bonus too.
"As this ELMS season finishes, it is important to highlight the teamwork required to deliver top-class performance to our customers. Our ELMS event team is a truly multinational group. In our team of track support engineers and operations experts we have 11 nationalities working closely together. For many of them, the season isn’t over. They travel to Shanghai and Bahrain to continue our challenge for the FIA World Endurance Championship titles and then begin work on the test programme for 2018. After the chequered flag waves, they are focused on the next win for our customers.”