Le Mans, France
Le Mans - More teams choose Dunlop, including Michel Vaillant
- Dunlop becomes a partner of Michel Vaillant, mythical hero of motorsport
- Dunlop chosen by 84% of 2017 European Le Mans Series teams
- Dunlop introducing new tyres in both Prototype and LMGTE-Pro classes.
Le Mans, 2nd February 2017. Today, the entry lists for the prestigious Le Mans 24h race, European Le Mans Series and FIA World Endurance Championship were revealed.
Included in the announcements were the racing teams’ choice of tyre manufacturer for these endurance events. This year, in the European Le Mans Series an increased percentage of teams (84% v 71% at the start of 2016) in the open competition LMP2 prototype class have nominated Dunlop as their preferred technical partner.
In the LMP2 category of the FIA World Endurance Championship, where Dunlop has been the choice of Le Mans 24h winners for the last six years, the majority of teams (18 of the 23 cars) have also chosen to nominate Dunlop tyres. Within the LMP2 grid, Dunlop also announced a partnership with Michel Vaillant, mythical hero of motorsport, as part of the launch of his new comic book "Rébellion". This new adventure will take place during the 24 hours.
Michel Vaillant and Dunlop share a strong heritage, common values and a long history with the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Out of the seventy-five comic books, twelve take place on the Sarthe circuit. Dunlop holds the record of victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with 34 victories accumulated over the years with brands as prestigious as Jaguar, Ferrari and Porsche.
The partnership will feature a range of exciting fan promotions from Dunlop, as well as the creation of a behind-the-scenes video of comic book production (to be released on Dunlop social networks).
In the FIA World Endurance Championship LMGTE classes, Aston Martin Racing, who claimed two 2016 titles (Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen won the FIA World Endurance Cup for GT Drivers and the team secured the FIA World Endurance Trophy for GTE Pro Teams), have also chosen Dunlop once again to lead their 2017 defence.
Director of Motorsport Operations, Jean-Felix Bazelin is delighted with the commitment shown by Dunlop’s partners: “To have so many teams nominate Dunlop as their preferred technical partner in these demanding endurance championships is very rewarding. It is testimony to the amount of work that our service, manufacturing and technology teams have put in during the past season and winter testing period. We restarted our testing programme for 2017 the day after the final championship winning race, developing tyres for both GTE and LMP categories. The push to develop and improve has been relentless”
Dunlop have been testing in Sakhir (Bahrain) Sebring (USA) and Paul Ricard (France) since the end of the 2016 season. On latest LMP2 cars, the combination of the new rules and a brand new Dunlop tyre specification has seen lap times that are close to the pace of the highly advanced front running LMP1 cars from just four seasons ago.
The FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series season begins at Silverstone (UK) on April 15/16th.
More information at Dunlop.eu
Follow @DunlopMSport on Twitter for updates on the partnerships
James BaileyEMEAUnited Kingdomjbailey@goodyear.com44 7770 682413